Community Garden offers gardening opportunities

If you have ever visited the Bogachiel Clinic you may not have even realized that just off the back parking lot of that facility sits the Community Garden. The about one-acre fenced area has been around for a number of years. The beds were initially built by the Olympic Corrections Center Community crew when Camille Scott was CEO at Forks Community Hospital. Over time the original wooden raised beds started to deteriorate and rot.

Initial Planning started Pre-COVID-19

Just before COVID Bogachiel Garden Club member Nora Alwarth approached the Forks Hospital Foundation with a plan to rebuild the dilapidated garden beds. Funds for the project were secured from the Bogachiel Garden Club as well as the Lloyd J. Allen Charitable Trust.

Rusty Gate Nursery/Building Center was contacted for cinder blocks, and OCC was approached to establish a contract for the garden work.

Then the pandemic paused the entire operation.

During this time, the Garden Committee was formed, reporting directly to the Forks Hospital Foundation.

New user agreements were created, and plans for the garden began to take shape.

Post-COVID-19 Actions:

After COVID restrictions eased Scott Depew and the OCC work crew rebuilt beds, evened out walking paths, cleared weeds, and performed general maintenance.

Rusty Gate delivered cinder blocks purchased before their fire and pandemic, followed by Dean Decker-Decker City Hardware providing two flats of bricks.

Funds were quickly used for renting a porta-potty from West Waste, purchasing cinder blocks, and paying for the work completed by the work crew from OCC.

Despite a donation of time, delivery, and a discount from Decker City Hardware, more funds were needed.

Additional Funding and Construction:

The Lloyd J. Allen Trust awarded the project an additional $1,500 for more beds. Dean Decker delivered again, and OCC was able to complete the reconstruction of most of the heavily worn beds except for two. Some beds were even made ADA height for accessibility from a wheelchair or cruiser.

Current Usage and Future Plans:

West End Outreach and the Hope Center are currently using the beds for therapy, food security development, and gardening education.

Next year, rural Health Clinics may also use the garden for wellness programs.

The garden beds are free to use, with a $5 key deposit.

For more information on joining the garden, contact Shannon Damron or Angelica Almazan-Luna. Contact info at the end of the article.

Things still needed:

• Gravel – to fill in some of the cinderblock holes; the gardeners then plant in the holes on top of this.

• Dirt – a load of dirt for gardeners to fill the beds.

• Cinder Blocks – if anyone wants to donate to the fund or has a few cinder blocks left over from a project.

Monetary Donations:

Funds to pay the crew for the completion of the rest of the beds. To pay for the purchase of more cinder blocks, to replace some of the tools that are a little worse for wear, and to purchase other small needed items.

Please do not drop off any items near or in the community garden.

If you want to donate or need more information about becoming a community gardener, don’t hesitate to contact Forks Hospital Foundation by emailing or calling 360-327-8326.