by MATTHEW NASH
Volunteers calling themselves the Olympic Peninsula Garden Group have approached the City of Sequim to take on maintenance for the Olympic Peninsula Demonstration Garden in the Water Reuse Demonstration Site.
Recently, Washington State University Extension and Master Gardeners Foundation of Clallam County told the city they were ending their financial commitment to the four-acre garden started in 2008 due to limited program resources and financial constraints.
Both groups have a 90-day commitment to continue maintenance before the city takes over operations. Since 2008, Master Gardeners and WSU organizers said they have provided human resources and financial support worth more than $20,000.
Organizers with the garden group said the amount needed for annual maintenance was $1,500.
Bill Wrobel, Master Gardener and co-organizer of the garden group, said a large portion of the volunteer group already had been maintaining the garden.
“Volunteers for the demonstration garden is 20 percent Master Gardeners, 50 percent friends of the garden and people who have worked on it before, and 30 percent members of the public who find it important,” he said. “People are still committed to the project, we’re just missing the budget.”
Wrobel said his group has called people on the Master Gardeners member list and about 70 say they support the demonstration garden.
The garden is a long-term phase project with a terrace featuring more than 100 types of lavender and other plants. Wrobel said the next step for the garden would be a rose garden if they were to obtain about $50,000.
The group plans to operate under the city or form a separate group to continue its work.
Jean Pier, a garden volunteer, hopes the garden becomes a centerpiece of the community.
“If the community can see it, it can be dynamite,” she said. “We want to get word out that we want people to get excited about making the garden theirs.”
To volunteer, call Bill Wrobel at 504-1146 or Paul Haines with the City of Sequim at 683-4908.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.