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New garden sprouts on school grounds

The Clackamas Reviewby: PHOTO COURTESY CAMPBELL COMMUNITY GARDENS - Volunteers build plots at the community garden, located on 11,000 square feet of the vacant Campbell Elementary School.

Milwaukie's Hector Campbell Neighborhood celebrates this week the opening of Campbell Community Garden with 'A Grand Tomato Planting Party.'

The party is at 4 p.m., Friday, June 22, at the garden on grounds of a school closed last year because of budget cuts.

Neighborhood volunteers who created the garden will provide tours and refreshments, and everyone can help get the garden going by planting a tomato plant.

The Campbell Community Garden has more than 4,000 square feet of planting beds divided in 28 plots for neighbors to rent and four plots dedicated to growing produce to share with neighbors in need through local food pantries and social service agencies. A blueberry patch and rhubarb bed will be planted in the fall.

The garden is on 11,000 square feet of the vacant Campbell Elementary School. Most of the gardeners are neighbors who live within walking distance. The main entrance to the garden is near the walking path at the intersection of Adams Street and 47th Avenue.

Construction of the garden is being funded by in-kind contributions, grants and donations. Nearly $9,000 was raised for the first phase of construction. Donations are needed for phase two of construction, which includes building a tool shed and work tables, as well as for the purchase of tools for the garden. Donations may be mailed to Hector Campbell Neighborhood Association, 4656 S.E. Washington St., Milwaukie 97222.

Using it all year

Planning and construction of the Campbell Community Garden has been a volunteer effort. A steering committee of neighbors spent the past year planning the garden, raising money and connecting with neighborhood gardeners. Construction of the garden began on April 21 with a kickoff meeting of interested gardeners. Since that first meeting, volunteers have contributed more than 400 hours of work building garden plots.

Plots are tended using organic gardening practices, and gardeners are encouraged to use the site year-round. Surplus produce from the rental plots will be added to the produce grown specifically for donation. Gardeners are encouraged to walk to the garden - the addition of a shed to store tools and materials will limit the need to transport tools by vehicles.

Major garden sponsors include Landscape East and West, Wichita Sanitary service, The Gardensmith, Milwaukie Lumber, Clackamas County Master Gardeners, Celebrate Milwaukie Inc. and the Hector Campbell Neighborhood District Association.

For more information about the Campbell Community Garden, visit CampbellGarden.org, or call Sarah Smith 503-653-0015; by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .