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Community Gardens Being Planted on West Ashley Property

The Charleston Parks Conservancy is starting to work with local residents on planting their first garden plots at Magnolia Park and Community Garden, a new public park and garden in West Ashley.

The City of Charleston park is located at the intersection of Sycamore Avenue and Magnolia Road in West Ashley near the Avondale community. The Conservancy, along with dozens of volunteers, has spent the last several months readying the property for spring planting.

“The vision for a community garden in this space has been a long time in the making and we’re delighted to see the first community members working in their beds this week,” said Jim Martin, Conservancy programs director. “This is a yet another example of how the Conservancy works with neighborhoods to create beautiful public spaces.”

The garden has 40 plots available for leasing along with eight community beds where volunteers can learn about growing vegetables. The fresh produce harvested from those community beds will be available to those volunteers and donated to local shelters and food pantries. Additional plans include educational programming and gardening classes at the park.

Conservancy staff horticulturists have been preparing the beds this week, and volunteers will assist in filling the beds with soil beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, April 25. The first crop of gardeners will meet at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 26, at the park for an orientation and to begin planting their individual beds. The introductory cost to lease a 4-foot by 8-foot raised bed is $50 for 2014. Once all the beds are leased, interested individuals will be added to a waiting list.  

With help from the Mount Pleasant Land Conservancy (now the East Cooper Land Trust), the Charleston Parks Conservancy acquired the 3.7-acre property in 2011 with the help of the Charleston County Greenbelt program. Donations for the development of the park also came from local residents and businesses as well as a $20,000 Lowe’s/Keep America Beautiful Community Improvement Grant.

Last year, the Conservancy donated the property to the City of Charleston for use as a public park.

Students from the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston designed and built a 400-square-foot shaded pavilion that will be used for community gatherings and a potential farmers market, as well as storage for gardening supplies.

For questions about volunteering in the garden or to lease a bed, contact Leslie Wade, the Conservancy’s community garden coordinator, at lwade(at)charlestonparksconservancy.org.