With the COVID-19 pandemic increasing interest in community gardening, Clackamas Community College is letting about 6,000 square feet of land sit fallow for the third straight growing season.
CCC's eviction of community gardeners in 2017 hasn't led to the promised expansion of college maintenance services.
As previously reported CCC officials said they needed to expand their maintenance yard into the Oregon City campus community gardens by spring 2018.
Most of the evicted gardeners were disheartened by the college's notice and decided not to relocate. The renters of only two out of the 15 gardening plots receiving eviction notices on Nov. 3, 2017, contacted the college to renew their membership by the Dec. 31 deadline.
CCC's Campus Services planned to encroach on about 13% of the approximately 1-acre space for community gardening on campus.
CCC Dean of Campus Services Bob Cochran said the construction project at the community garden has been delayed because "the number of projects to be completed internally was not fully realized when we removed the front plots from the community garden."
Neither the CCC Board of Education nor the college's Bond Advisory Committee was notified to help plan for the maintenance-yard expansion in the context of the college's various priorities after a $90 million bond approved by voters in 2014. Expanding the maintenance yard ended up being an administrative decision.
CCC garden coordinator Michelle Baker said this year that there was a "long waiting list for people" who wanted to garden at the college.
"We maintain a constant waiting list," Baker said. "Most years we have one, but not all who go on the list still want a spot by the time we get to them, therefore the wait times, and length of the list, varies."
For $40 per year, the college provides the land and access to unlimited water during the dry months. Gardeners are required to bring their own hoses and gardening tools.
This story has been updated from its original version online with a comment from CCC Dean of Campus Services Bob Cochran.
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