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Community spaces in OC, Milwaukie, Gladstone still open to produce fresh veggies

While schools and stores shut down across Clackamas County, community gardens are planning to stay open during the COVID-19 crisis.

PMG FILE PHOTO: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - In past years, Clackamas Countys OSU Master Gardeners worked together to grow extra produce on the community college property for donating to food banks in Oregon City.Gov. Kate Brown has ordered emergency measures to limit citizens' exposure to the novel coronavirus, but she recognized that people still need fresh food in order to stay healthy. Brown's orders keep grocery stores and farmers markets open, providing people can keep a 6-foot distance from others in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

One of the oldest and largest community gardens in the metro area, Gladstone's gardens

cover nearly 5 acres and comprise 134 separate garden plots. City Administrator Jacque Betz noted that Gladstone officials lease the property to the Gladstone Garden Association, which is urging people to keep at least a 6-foot distance from one another when working on the Meldrum Bar Park property this year.

"We agree that people need to engage in outdoor activities that provide a sense of purpose, connection and a release from stress," Betz said. "It is also a sustainable opportunity for those who have been financially impacted."

Lisa Lashbrook, who volunteers to help manage three community gardens for the city of Milwaukie, appreciated that the governor's orders recognize the value of locally grown produce. In addition to a small demonstration garden at City Hall, Milwaukie has two large community gardens, at the former Campbell Elementary School and on the grounds of St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 11600 S.E. Linwood Ave.

"I imagine more than ever, folks will see the importance of not relying completely on grocery stores," Lashbrook said. "Plus, it's a positive way to get outside, and garden-fresh tomatoes are the best."

In Oregon City, there's slightly less than an acre available for public use at the Clackamas Community College campus.

"We understand the important place that gardens hold in families' lives, and we hope that all who are able will continue to utilize that resource," said Michelle Baker, the college's garden coordinator. "We ask that when in the garden, please follow social-distancing guidelines in order to protect yourselves and others."

Get growing

Milwaukie: If you would like to rent a garden plot at Linwood Community Garden or Campbell Community Garden, call 503-358-3421 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Oregon City: For information on community gardening at CCC, call 503-594-3041 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Gladstone: An application form is provided at gladstonegarden.org and must be sent to Gladstone Garden Association, PO Box 756, Gladstone, OR 97027.

Happy Valley: This city's garden hasn't opened yearly until April 15, and City Manager Jason Tuck said officials will evaluate opening the small space at Happy Valley Park closer to that date. More information is available by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visiting happyvalleyor.gov.


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