A community garden is a natural space where people come together to plant flowers, fruit, vegetables, and herbs. Some residents have limited opportunities to try their hand at gardening. However, an unused park area can be transformed into a thriving green space where people share meaningful experiences and grow essential food.
Many cities have community garden programs. Currently, there are two private community garden programs in Maple Grove. Community members shared with the Park Board the desire to have a municipal community garden program.
At the January 15, 2023, Park Board meeting, a community garden program and timeline were approved.
Research and tours
Parks and recreation staff researched and toured neighboring community garden programs to become educated on best practices and operational commitment. Staff learned ways some cities are repurposing low-use park amenities for community garden space. Staff toured Lakeland Park in Brooklyn Park, Medley Park in Golden Valley, and Plymouth Community Garden on Shenandoah Lane North.
Staff then researched underutilized city-owned land throughout Maple Grove. A comparison matrix on page 2 of the progress report (see below) shows desired site characteristics.
After reviewing feedback from the community, testing soil samples, reviewing the five-site comparison matrix, and analyzing cost estimates for the desired site design, the Board approved the Donahue North hockey rink as the preferred site for the community garden pilot program.
Community garden pilot program timeline
July to August 2023
Staff conducted community-wide engagement to receive feedback on the proposed sites.
August 17, 2023 (Board meeting)
Preferred site – Donahue North Hockey Rink - concept design, and project costs were presented and approved.
September 12, 2023
6 p.m. – Community Open House
Donahue North Park (hockey rink)
6632 Annapolis Lane North
Staff presents garden design concept.
September 21, 2023 (Board meeting)
Staff presents final site design and project costs for board approval.
Site preparation begins.
Registration for garden plots opens (date TBD). Residents receive priority.
Community garden pilot program starts.