Meadow Grass Community Garden opens in Cottage Grove

Posted 5/29/24

A new community garden in Cottage Grove opened on Thursday, May 23. The project was initiated by residents of immigrant backgrounds who recognized the need for more community garden space in the …

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Meadow Grass Community Garden opens in Cottage Grove

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A new community garden in Cottage Grove opened on Thursday, May 23. The project was initiated by residents of immigrant backgrounds who recognized the need for more community garden space in the area. It has been a community-led effort with significant support from the City of Cottage Grove, Influencer Hotspot, University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners (UMN Extension), and Washington County Public Health and Environment.
Meadow Grass Community Garden was created with the goals of increasing access to healthy food and green spaces, celebrating diversity through the growth of culturally relevant foods, connecting community members, and fostering mental and physical well-being. The gardeners, many of diverse backgrounds, will use the space to grow produce to help reduce existing food scarcity. Plots will be maintained by individual households for their own consumption.
“This garden is so much more than its physical space,” said Alyssa Wolf, community health specialist from Washington County Public Health and EnvironmentThis garden is so much more than its physical space. “It reflects the growing diversity and cultural vibrance of the Cottage Grove community. As this project has evolved, it has been amazing to see people from a wide variety of backgrounds work together to make this beautiful garden a reality.”
This project was funded through the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, a grant that is administered locally by Washington County Public Health and Environment. The City of Cottage Grove committed resources including the land and plot registration, tilling and irrigation services, an onsite portable restroom, and parking access. UMN Extension supplied a shed and tools, soil testing, and will offer ongoing guidance for the community gardeners. Its Master Gardeners also constructed a fence in partnership with community volunteers. Ramsey/Washington County Recycling & Energy Center provided compost and a volunteer group has been established to manage day-to-day operations to ensure the project remains sustainable.
“At its core, this project has been about connection — to cultural foods, memories of residents’ home countries, and the opportunity to spend time with our neighbors,” said Eric Ini, community organizer and founder of Influencer Hotspot. “Meadow Grass Community Garden is an example of how we can start to meet the real needs of our communities when we bridge the gap between minority groups and government institutions.”
The garden consists of 40 plots, each 10-by-25 feet, which have all been assigned for 2024. It will be open and accessible during the gardening season (mid-May through mid-October). All gardeners will adhere to a set of guidelines to ensure residents' safety and the garden's longevity.
Meadow Grass Community Garden is located at 6950 Meadow Grass Avenue, Cottage Grove, MN, 55016. To learn more about this project, visit the Cottage Grove website at www.cottagegrovemn.gov/CommunityGardens. Contact garden project management by calling 651-458-3400 or emailing cottagegrovegarden@gmail.com.