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Volunteers, city officials to celebrate Crossroads Community Garden's grand opening



CONNECTION PHOTO: KELSEY O'HALLORAN - University of Utah student volunteer Connor Hines shovels soil for a raised bed at Crossroads Community Garden.Kathleen McHarg grows plants in the backyard of her Multnomah Village home. But that might just be a force of habit for the master gardener, who says she would rather make the short trip to her plot at the Vermont Hills Community Garden any day.

“If you’re a gardener, you just want to be gardening everywhere,” she says. “I know I can come to the (community) garden and there will be at least a couple people always there.”

CONNECTION PHOTO: KELSEY O'HALLORAN - With the help of a power drill, volunteer Michael Wade puts the finishing touches on a wheelchair-accessible raised garden bed at Crossroads Community Garden.McHarg, a Friends of Portland Community Gardens board member, believes so strongly in the relationship-building, food-bearing plots of shared land that she has worked to bring a new site to Southwest: Crossroads Community Garden, which opens officially on April 22 with a celebration to be attended by volunteers and city officials.

Crossroads will be maintained by Portland Parks & Recreation's Community Gardens program once it’s completed, making it the city’s 51st official community garden.

Located behind Hillsdale Community Church, United Church of Christ at 6948 S.W. Capitol Highway, the garden currently contains 13 10-by-20-foot plots — which could be divided to make more plots — and three 4-by-8-foot wheelchair-accessible raised beds. The church provided the land for the garden, and volunteers broke ground in March 2015.

Though the garden was completed through the course of about a dozen volunteer work parties throughout the year, it still cost around $18,000 to bring in gravel and soil, add the garden shed, install the irrigation system and build a fence around the property.

CONNECTION PHOTO: KELSEY O'HALLORAN - Camila Esposito, a student volunteer from the University of Utah, assembles a raised bed during one of the final work parties to prepare Crossroads Community Garden for its April opening.Leslie Pohl-Kosbau, the co-chairwoman of the Friends of Portland Community Gardens who headed up the project, says the garden was made possible through funding from groups such as Friends of Portland Community Gardens, West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation Service, Southwest Neighborhoods Inc., OnPoint Community Credit Union and the Hillsdale Community Church, United Church of Christ Foundation.

The garden will provide welcome recreation space for neighbors who simply enjoy caring for plants. But it could fill a greater need in the community, Pohl-Kosbau says.

“There are also people who need the food,” she says.

With the Stephens Creek Crossing affordable apartment complex right next-door, Pohl-Kosbau and her team have requested that the City reserve a few garden plots for families in need. And for growers who wind up with too much fresh produce, Neighborhood House's Emergency Food Box Program in Multnomah Village welcomes donations from the garden.

Contact Kelsey O’Halloran at 503-636-1281 ext. 101 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

IF YOU GO

What: Crossroads Community Garden’s grand opening celebration

When: April 22 at 3 p.m.

Where: Crossroads Community Garden, behind Hillsdale Community Church, United Church of Christ at 6948 S.W. Capitol Highway

Info: To sign up for a community garden plot or learn more, visit portlandoregon.gov/parks/39846.



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