What has Ahwatukee Community Garden done for our community in the last 10 years?
The Ahwatukee Community Garden has given its participants a place to grow as friends and as gardeners. People come and go and come back after long absences. The most important thing that has grown here has been the community connections.
The garden has been in existence for nearly 10 years. In that time several areas have been developed. These include:
*a demonstration garden area with two communal raised beds, each 4' by 30'
*3 keyhole gardens based on a design for drought areas
*a native plant/ pollinator garden designed for children
*an urban orchard for fruit trees that are adapted to our region
*an herb spiral
*a contemplative area for people that is designed for pollinators like hummingbirds, monarchs butterflies and other creatures.
The keyholes are accessible to wheelchair- bound and elderly.
Eight separate Eagle Scout Projects have assisted in building many of these features.
We have also:
Provided supplemental greens to the local food bank.
Provided gardening advice in a column in the free neighborhood paper, at a table at the neighborhood Farmers’ Market and at seasonal presentations at our local branch library. weekly hands-on work sessions for gardeners of all ages, directed by University of Arizona Master Gardeners.
Promoted seed saving and sharing by maintaining The Rio Salado Seed Shed Library and conducting Seed Exchanges at the Ironwood Library.
Assisted the development of garden projects at the Pecos Senior Center, The Garden of ‘Eatin, a local preschool, and Colina Elementary School.
Given support to fellow gardeners resulting in 5 members completing the University of Arizona Extension Master Gardener program.
Held garden tours and workshops for children, aged 2-14, and adults.
Established a Little Free Library in our Children’s Garden. This was recently restocked and moved to a more easily accessed site , while still being housed in the Children’s Garden.
In the spring of 2018, we were able to erect and finish the garden shed. Funds from the 2016 and 2017 Seed Money campaigns,designs by ACGP (Ahwatukee Community Garden Project) gardeners, the building expertise of staff at the Ahwatukee Board of Management along with brawn from Mason Flowers and his Boy Scout troop all went to making this a proud moment for all involved.
In 2019, our designs for a small contemplative, wildflower filled seating area that connected the other gardens became a reality thanks to Seed Money funds and MacKenzie and his scout troop.
It is so satisfying to report each year the successes that Seed Money helped us accomplish. We are in a rebuilding phase for the coming days.
In 2021 we erected a screened hoop house to help control rodents and birds. We put up an owl house to assist in rodent control. In 2021 we began redoing our irrigation and will finish that project this year.