Minnesota Green Stories
Newport on the Move
In 2017, the Newport on the Move Community Garden had to, well, move when the city of Newport wanted to re-purpose the land.
The city helped find a new site for the garden at Fourth Avenue and 15th Street. “We chose that site because it can’t be used for anything else. We wanted to be able to invest in long-term infrastructure, though we’ll be amending the soil for a long time,” says Marge Meconis, who calls herself the “chief worker bee,” and helped plan and implement the new garden design.
A core group of six community garden committee members have made the transition to the new space a success, along with help from the city and local businesses. Fortunately, the lot already had water hooked up because there had been houses on the site, which were torn down when the Glen Road and U.S. Highway 61 interchange was built.
The space was fenced—6 feet high to keep out deer plus rabbit fencing below ground—and the Newport Lutheran Church donated a shed for gardeners to use. Half of the lot has rentable plots and the other half is a Giving Garden, where volunteers grow vegetables for the Friends in Need Food Shelf.
“Beans, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are the most requested vegetables at the food shelf,” says Marge. The Minnesota Green-donated plants supplement what the gardeners start from seed but also beautify the Newport community.
“Because of the plant donations, we’ve planted plenty of vegetables and have been able to add pollinator plants, beautify city planters and replace trees on city grounds and at the Bailey School Forest,” says Marge. “Plus, we’ve planted at the Veteran’s Garden at Pioneer Park and done some landscaping at the food shelf, too. Minnesota Green has been wonderful for the community.”
For more information, visit www.ci.newport.mn.us/communitygarden.
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