Crothersville woman receives permission for community garden


CROTHERSVILLE — Amy Schleter recently received approval to start a community garden at Bard Street Park in Crothersville.

Since then, she has had fellow residents step up to serve on the board or express interest in donating items to get it going.

Before she went out and purchased anything for the garden, she discussed her idea with the Crothersville Parks Board. That group gave its blessing to use an area on the west side of the park for the garden.

Then she shared her idea with the town council. That group was on board, too.

“(The parks board) thought it was a wonderful idea, and I talked to several people and everybody seemed to be really excited about it,” Councilman Chad Wilson said. “I think it’s a great idea, and I think you will get a lot of volunteers.”

Initially, Schleter said she didn’t know if people would help bring her idea to reality, so she was going to purchase items herself and figure out if she wanted to use raised beds or till the ground.

After receiving positive feedback on a Facebook post sharing her idea, she realized people were ready and willing to assist in any way they could.

“I really just want to have food for people that can’t afford food or to get out of town to have a place to come for free fresh food,” Schleter said.

She drew up plans for the garden with fruit and vegetable plants all around an area in the middle with benches and tool storage.

Wilson said the area of the park near Oak and Bard streets was chosen because it has a water spigot, and Schleter said she didn’t realize that was there because she had planned to use rain barrels to collect water for the garden. The town said it would be willing to provide her a key for the spigot.

Wilson said parks board President Ron Foster is excited about the community garden, but he just wants to make sure the area is maintained so it can continue each year.

Town employees are responsible for mowing at the park because it’s town property, and Utility Director Mason Boicourt said it would be best if the garden was one big square that they could mow around instead of having to mow walkways or between plants.

Schleter said she plans to plant within the next month and may plant some flowers around it to make it look prettier.

Four days after the council meeting, Schleter posted on the Crothersville Community Garden at Bard Street Park Facebook page that Ashley Niehause had joined the board, Bobby and Nicole Helblig were going to plow the lot at the park as soon as the ground is dry enough and Sims Bark in Crothersville donated mulch for the walkways.

She also said Niehause is donating some plants and seeds for the garden.

“We are seeing if we can get some donations started so when the garden is tilled, we can get right to work,” Schleter wrote in the post.

She also said donations of these items are being accepted: Hand-sized spades, small shovels to plant plants, a garden rake, a water hose, a box to store the hose, hog fence and posts for trellis, 2-by-6 boards for raised beds, fertilizer and The Home Depot gift cards to buy supplies.

Anyone interested in donating money for the project can send via Venmo @Amy-Schleter.

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