Put down roots: New community garden opens on Tuesday

The Steamboat Springs Roots Community Garden at 1920 Pine Grove Road will have an official opening at 17.00 on Tuesday 26 July.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Steamboat Springs Roots Community Garden officially opens with a celebration of volunteers, sponsors and organizers at 5pm Tuesday July 26th at 1920 Pine Grove Road.

The new garden is a permanent replacement for the former vegetable patch that was displaced by construction on Routt County’s new Health and Human Services building.

The new garden, a culmination of months of work and fundraising, already has new vegetables and plants growing in 20 different plots.

“It’s great to know that we now have a place for people to garden, who really lost that opportunity when the old community garden was displaced by the construction of the new human services building,” said Todd Hagenbuch, Routt County CSU- extension director and administrative manager for the garden.

“We got it done right around the time we were able to plant this year, so it’s really exciting,” he added.

Hagenbuch applauded the support and collaboration of so many community partners, such as UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, Rachel Long and Moniker Foundation, Ace Hardware, KP Landscaping, Nature’s Design, Ski Town Rotary Club and Hales Landscaping.

“It’s been a wonderful, really community-driven process,” Hagenbuch said.

He emphasized that the work of the volunteers was crucial to getting the new garden up and running so quickly.

“I was lucky to have had a garden in the former community garden on Oak Street and I missed it very much,” said garden volunteer Kelly Bastone. “I came forward and told Todd that I would be willing to do a lot of work to create another one.”

“I can’t tell you how fulfilling and fulfilling it feels to actually be gardening in a plot in this new garden and watching my neighbors plant seeds,” she added. “It’s incredible to think that it has become a reality.”

The new garden is on the grounds of UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center.

“We are pleased that the Roots Community Garden was able to find its new home on the campus of UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center,” said Eli Nykamp, ​​director of operations for the medical center. “Together with other community partners, the Routt County CSU Extension Office and a host of dedicated volunteers, the land has been transformed to house 20 raised garden plots.”

“For some, gardening provides access to fresh, healthy fruit, vegetables and herbs. For others, gardening can be therapeutic or a way to reduce stress and connect with nature – all of which link back to a person’s health and well-being,” he added.

Bastone explained that especially for people who may not have a backyard or outdoor space where they live, a community garden is an important asset.

“For me, it’s incredibly important because I live in assisted living and a lot of Steamboat Springs residents live in assisted living,” she said. “If you want a garden, there’s a way to do it through the common park area.”

Hagenbuch also emphasized that it is crucial to create garden space for people with different housing situations, as well as to give them a chance to better understand where their food comes from.

“It’s so important for people to reconnect with food and connect with the source of that food,” Hagenbuch said. “Giving people the opportunity to grow their own is really the best way for them to experience not only the importance of the nutrition of fresh food, but how much work it takes to grow it.”

Right now, the garden is starting to sprout green beans, carrots and onions, and volunteers are working to build a fence to prevent wildlife from eating the produce.

Bastone said she was thrilled they were able to finish the garden early enough in the season to plant seeds, and she looks forward to celebrating those efforts next week.

“We’re incredibly excited. So many entities have come together to support the creation of this garden,” said Bastone. “I think this ribbon cutting will really recognize all of these efforts and celebrate that, as just a community, you could have created.”

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