To a jubilant round of applause, completion of Spruce Street Park was approved unanimously by the city council at its July 27 meeting.
"Thank you all very much. This is a great improvement to that corner and the neighborhood," said Mayor Laura Dubois.
The unused city-owned park is slated for a second community organic garden in response to positive feedback from the city-sponsored plot at St. Luke's Community Organic Garden of Sequim.
The quarter-acre park will be on the south side of East Spruce Street between Sequim and Sunnyside avenues.
The design includes 4-foot-wide gravel walking paths surrounding 16 10- by 10-foot garden plots and eight 10- by 5-foot handicapped accessible, raised bed plots in the park's western third.
Picnics and parking
The middle third will have 2,800 square feet of grass with picnic tables, pooper scooper stations and trash cans.
The eastern third will be 2,040 square feet of permeable surface with four parking spaces, including two for disabled persons.
The improvements are estimated to cost $19,000, including donated materials.
Parks coordinator Jeff Edwards said the gardens will be covered and the gates locked during the winter but the rest of the park will remain open.
The new park received numerous enthusiastic comments.
"I'm president of the organizing group for Community Organic Gardens, and we are delighted," said Liz Beth Harper.
Building free beds
Sam Schwab is donating materials, building and installing the eight raised garden beds to achieve his Eagle Scout rank.
"This is an amazing idea. I'd prefer more gardens than big stores," he said.
Sequim Sunrise Rotary member John D'Urso said the club is enthusiastic about donating the shed, fence and picnic tables for the new park.
Lisa Hobbs, owner of two properties on Sunnyside Avenue, also described the planned gardens as "fantastic."
"This is going to be a wonderful project," she said.
Councilor Ken Hays said when he was growing up in Seattle 40 years ago, these "community organic gardens" were called "pea patches."
He recently visited the neighborhood of one of those pea patches and it is flourishing, he said.
Reach Brian Gawley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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