The RMIA is responsible for the care and maintenance of LaPointe Park, including the Community Garden. The Community Garden in LaPointe Park allows neighbors from the Manor to each take charge of small plot of land throughout the summer to plant and grow any variety of produce. Gardeners are assigned a plot to tend and cultivate based upon a first come, first served basis. Besides a little labor in the summer sun, gardeners are only asked to pay a small fee, $25 for RMIA members and $35 for non-members, to offset some of the costs of running the garden. The entire garden is turned over and tilled prior to the planting season so that the soil is ready for each gardener to start planting. Plots will be approximately four feet wide and six feet long.
Individual gardeners will provide their own seed and plants and their labor in tending to the garden for the summer. Throughout the summer, the gardeners will need to weed and tend their own plots, and generally help to keep the garden clean and tidy. They will be allowed to harvest anything they grow. The RMIA proudly started its Community Garden before the Obamas tilled the West Lawn of the Localvore movement was hip.
The Community Garden gives experienced gardeners in the neighborhood an ideal location for growing vegetables and also is a good opportunities for garden novices to start. For someone who has never gardened, turning a back yard into a vegetable garden can seem daunting. But in the Community Garden all the grunt work of tilling and preparing the soil is done for you, and the fun part of planting and harvesting is more approachable. The Community Garden allows inexperienced gardeners to try their hand at growing their own food or flowers on a smaller scale while learning from the more experienced gardeners they are working along side. The Community Garden is a great opportunity for parents to teach their children about gardening and the joys of growing, and eating, vegetables. Even a parent who is a novice at gardening could plant a few rows of squash and green beans and let their children watch as the seeds germinate and grow from small plants to fruit at the end of the summer. There’s something magical for a child to be able to see a seed sprout and eventually be able to pick and eat the produce. Ultimately, gardeners most enjoy the interaction with fellow gardeners as the community is brought together to share in the garden’s harvest.