The West Side Improvement Club Community Garden

Overview

Community gardens are popular in the United States and around the world as a strategy to meet environmental and social goals in urban areas. They have been studied in a variety of contexts including food production, social activities, and urban green infrastructure.  Community gardens promote engagement for members of our community, as well studies have shown community gardens create a connection to the place we live and people reside longer in neighborhoods with community gardens.

Community Kitchen Garden
Untitled-2.jpg
Current Status of Westside Improvement Club Property

The property at Westside Improvement Club on the corner of National & D Street is currently unused and somewhat unappealing.  This property has the potential to not only benefit our members but the community as well.  The community benefits by having space to garden, a place to socialize, and a connection to this community as well as Westside Improvement Club.  

Westside Improvement Club benefits as it reaps the reward of increasing membership, connecting to the community members in Navy Yard City, being able to donate harvested vegetables to those in need, giving back to our community, creating revenue through space rental, also in future a Farmer’s Market revenue for vendors during Spring/Summer/Fall months in the parking lot.  This also brings more people into awareness of Westside Improvement Club and the potential to increase our membership.

Benefits

Community gardeners usually are strongly attached to their gardens.  Growing vegetables or flowers is a meaningful experience, regardless of the quantity harvested.  Gardeners find social benefits outweigh environmental benefits.  Place attachment is positively correlated with gardeners knowing other gardeners.  People get to meet their neighbors and develop relationships as well as bonds by association form.  Children from our community will have the benefits of getting their hands dirty and learning about agriculture. They learn reliability and responsibility when it comes to taking care of a plant day after day; self-confidence: nothing is more rewarding than the fruits of our own labor.

Goals

  1. Promote a community relationship with Westside Improvement Club.

  2. Increase membership to Westside Improvement Club.

  3. Improving the street appeal of our Club.

  4. Growing vegetables enable people to provide for their health needs.

  5. Create a revenue source by renting garden spaces to the community

  6. Grow produce for donation to either food bank or community in Navy Yard

  7. Offer a seasonal Farmers Market in the future once established as a revenue source and provide a social relationship/connection to Navy Yard City and Westside Improvement Club.

Specifications

We would like to plan a garden in Spring 2022 with some of the preparation work being done several months beforehand.  We have hopes to create a food source for the community. This would offer another place for people to socialize and contribute as well as create revenue for the Club.

Milestones

  • Step One - Lay cardboard down over the grass to self compost and prepare the land.

  • Step Two - Put any yard waste compost over the cardboard to encourage natural decomposure.

  • Step Three - Map out layout for garden beds. WSIC will have their own raised bed and plot, the remaining area will be divided into individual plots to be rented. 

Budget 

  • Water - Donation in-kind from Kitsap Conservation District to assist in planning and cistern.  Rainwater and mild climate most often mean no watering.

  • Cyclone Fence Gate - Deborah Grace provided 2 gates - there is a tall cyclone fence gate on the side of WSIC building (not in use), but it would need to be adjusted in height if we were to get authorization to use it.

  • Compost - Donation in-kind from Peninsula Organics

  • Cardboard -  Donation in-kind from Arnold’s Furniture Store.  Used to decompose grass in the fenced area where the proposed garden is located.  A significant amount has already been donated.

  • Seeds/Plants - Donations and patrons provide their own.

  • Labor - Patrons, Volunteers, Project Leads - Chandra Kaye, Deborah Grace, Lori Perry

  • Security - camera already captures this space so no need to add to the current system at this time.