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Paving no obstacle to Powell's community garden

We’ve told you before about the effort to turn a parking lot on Powell Boulevard into a unusual community garden – the garden will not replace the paving; it will stand above it. The effort continues, fueled by the latest fund-raiser for the project. On April 12, Vicki Wilson, Coordinator of the Foster-Powell Community Garden at S.E. 62nd and Powell Boulevard, welcomed visitors to a Plant Sale fund-raiser, raffle, and painting party.

Volunteers have made considerable progress at the site, established just last year. Four raised beds, a supply and tool shed, compost bins, and a large attractive entry gate are now in place. Water is currently supplied by two 300-gallon cisterns.

A grant from the East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, and volunteer donations, have brought in lumber, garden tools, and piles of dirt, mulch, and compost.

“Eventually, we hope to have at least twenty garden beds here, with possibly some smaller containers for fruit trees,” Wilson told THE BEE. “The half-acre lot is owned by the Oregon Department of Transportation, and is the site of a former gas station, which has been paved over with asphalt. “We'd like this to be a unique community garden on an asphalt base that creates its own water source from rainfall, thus helping relieve storm water overflows.”

by: RITA A. LEONARD - In front of the entry gate to the Foster-Powell Community Garden on Powell Boulevard stand Coordinator Vicki Wilson and gate artist John Larsen. John Larsen created the oval entry gate on the east side of the lot, while visitors to the fundraiser painted large wooden flowers to line the top of the fence. Donations of perennials from “Dennis’ 7 Dees Nursery” across the street include cone flowers, evergreen clematis, allium, aster, and coreopsis. These, along with a crop of tulips, daffodils, daisies, and foxglove, have taken root and are beginning to bloom.

Foster-Powell neighbors who have little space for home gardening look forward to getting their hands in the dirt and raising their own organic vegetables and flowers.

Dozens of visitors showed up at the fundraiser to explore the site and purchase plants. There were strawberry plants, raspberries, iris, lily, peonies, rhubarb, hen-&-chicks, and a magnolia tree, among them. There was also garden art, baked goodies, and raffle tickets for a glass garden art piece, or a chance on a year’s free use of one of the garden beds.

For those wanting to learn more about this unique paved garden space on Powell Boulevard in the Foster-Powell neighborhood, garden meetings are held 6:30-8 pm on the second Monday evening of every month. You can learn more about the garden online, too, at: www.62ndgarden.wordpress.com .