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Rotary’s community garden progressing nicely

By Staff | Aug 3, 2017

Thirty years ago, the Rotary Club of Cape Coral started a project that it hoped would benefit the citizens while getting the organizations name out.

That project, Rotary Park, has become one of the most utilized parks in the city thanks to its partnership with the city, while Rotary now has three chapters in town, which serves as a governing board for the park.

Now, Rotarians want to bring back the magic by constructing a community garden near City Hall and the Cultural Park.

Rotarians turned dirt on the project two months ago and this weekend, they will begin the initial layout, which will look like the Rotary wheel when finished.

Irrigation and pavers will be installed and platted boxes will be put in for those who want to grow their own vegetables. The project is expected to be completed by the start of growing season in October.

Elmer Tabor said the Rotary has had several individuals and groups come to them in the past three years to ask about creating a community garden on the vacant property at Rotary Park.

“We said no because that is where we’re putting our environmental education laboratory there. Steve Pohlman, the Parks & Recreation director, said he had some land and asked if we would be interested in building a community garden,” Tabor said.

According to the agreement between Rotary and Parks & Rec, Rotary would build it and the city will manage and maintain it the same way it does with Rotary Park. It will be called the Rotary Community Garden.

The land is city owned and since there was once a duplex that stood there, it has utilities. Rotary will invest $20,000 of the $75,000 it is expected to cost to build the garden, which Tabor said has been in the planning stages for 18 months.

Tabor added Rotary has gotten community partners to help with the supplies, labor and materials to the tune of about $50,000 in like donations.

“We have applied for a district grant within Rotary and got $7,200 from them. We’re going to put a pollinator habitat there to feed the bees and got a $1,000 grant for that, Tabor said. “It will have a 20-by-20 tiki hut for educational classes and 70 planter boxes which the city will rent out.”

Those who choose to plant their own vegetables will be asked to donate 20 percent of it to the Caring Center.

Tabor said Special Pops will have 10 planter boxes and they will grow their own veggies for Pop’s Cafe in City Hall.

Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected. The city did not contribute $20,000, no tax dollars have been contributed.The Breeze regrets the error