It was Nelson Mandela who said, “It always seems impossible, until it’s done,” and the community of Kent’s East Hill will soon benefit from the efforts of many who are working toward achieving the impossible.
In September 2016, Hillside Church on James donated an acre of its parking lot to create a community garden. Project partners World Relief and King Conservation District developed a plan for 50 garden beds that will be open to the public and easily accessible to the more than 1,000 immigrants and refugees settled annually in the area by World Relief.
“Having a place to connect to the land and grow foods familiar to home is so meaningful to recent arrivals,” said Tahmina Martelly, project manager for World Relief.
Many organizations and volunteers have come together to transform an unused parking lot into a food producing garden paradise.
Hillside Community Garden will reach a significant milestone this week with the delivery of 100 yards of compost donated by Cedar Grove.
“Cedar Grove is excited to contribute to this project that transforms impervious pavement into vegetable gardens,” said Karen Dawson, director of marketing and community relations, Cedar Grove. “We look forward to seeing this land be put to use for local food production in King County.”
“The dirt under the asphalt was tested and free of toxins or heavy metals, however, it is also devoid of any nutrients,” said Melissa Tatro with King Conservation District, “Cedar Grove’s generous donation of nutrient rich compost will breathe life into the garden beds.”
Planting a winter cover crop of fetch, rye and crimson clover, will also help in adding important nutrients to the garden soil.
The community garden will include communal growing areas, four rain gardens, a pollinator pathway, teaching space, handicapped accessible raised beds and individual garden plots. Signups for garden plots will begin in February.
To view a proposed site map of Hillside Community Garden, discover volunteer opportunities and follow the journey from parking lot to garden paradise, visit their Facebook page at Hillside Paradise Parking Plots Community Garden.
King Conservation District is a special purpose district created to help private landowners manage and steward their natural resources through education, technical assistance and financial assistance.