Beach Haven Community Garden Taking Applicants

By ERIC ENGLUND | Jun 12, 2019

Beach Haven — An ordinance adopted by the Beach Haven Borough Council on Monday establishes a community garden on a tract of borough-owned land at the intersection of Nelson and West avenues. According to the ordinance, the garden will enable residents to grow their own produce through best gardening practices.

“Benefits include the preservation of green space as residents work collaboratively and share information in gardening techniques,” the ordinance says. “In addition, the garden will provide an educational forum for members to expand horticultural knowledge by way of cross-cultural and intergenerational connections as well as foster pride in a community-wide organization.”

The ordinance also established a community garden committee, which will include Borough Manager Sherry Mason, Public Works Director Chris Carson and an at-large member of the public to be designated by Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis. The committee will serve in an advisory capacity, shall meet at least once per year and will provide input and suggestions for the garden’s operation.

“The garden will also be a good educational tool, and hopefully we can develop a program with the Beach Haven Elementary School students,” said Davis.

According to rules and regulations established, 10 plots measuring 4 feet by 8 feet will be made available for community use. Applications can be picked up at borough hall by calling Mary Clare Bunce, assistant borough manager, at 609-492-0111, extension 210. A $45 fee is assessed once a person is assigned a garden plot.

“Once they get the plot, it’s theirs for the whole year,” said Bunce. “Then after that, they’ll have the option to renew. If this turns out to be very successful, then next year we could offer more plots.”

In addition, the garden will be completely organic, as the use of synthetic herbicides and pesticides is prohibited. Trees and any permanent structures are prohibited. Walkways must be kept clear, and gardeners are responsible for weed maintenance. Tools and other materials should not be left in the pathways, and any tools supplied by the garden must stay in the garden area for others to use. Gardeners must not allow standing water to collect in any structure or fixtures, as they can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

During a public hearing on the ordinance, resident Michael Peler suggested that plots be given on a lottery basis.

“The garden sounds like a great idea, but I’d prefer that everyone get an equal chance, not just first-come, first-serve,” he said. —E.E.

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