In 2008, local resident Dave Wheeler with Bill Bower of the YMCA, worked in collaboration with the City of Gig Harbor, and initiated a Community Garden at Wilkinson Farm. Seeds were planted in the same location where Helen Wilkinson’s pioneer family harvested crops decades ago.
In 2009, Barbara Carr, another local resident, took the lead. With the help of sponsors and volunteers from Healthy Communities of Pierce County, St. Anthony Hospital, the Boys & Girls Club, Healthy Harbor and volunteers from the area, the garden took shape.
Thanks to the commitment of volunteers, the Community Garden at Wilkinson Farm is a great success.
In addition to the 36 raised garden beds available on a donation basis to community members, there are also 13 plots of space allocated to growing fresh organic produce solely for the local Gig Harbor Peninsula FISH Food Bank. The gardeners and community volunteers work in the food bank areas to plant, weed, harvest and deliver nearly 1,000 pounds of produce each year to the food bank.
The need for a usable greenhouse to allow volunteers to grow starts from seeds prompted the replacement of an older structure at Wilkinson Farm Park. This greenhouse provides a cost savings over having to purchase starts in the spring.
The greenhouse was designed by former Mayor Chuck Hunter and constructed under the leadership of Rotarian Oliver Magnuson. In partnership, the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor, the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor Midday, and the Gig Harbor High School Interact Club financed its construction. Thanks to Rotarian Mark Hoppen, Rotarian volunteers, PenMet Parks and Peninsula Light Company, the new greenhouse was completed in 2012.
To volunteer and be a part of next year’s project or for more information about a community garden plot, call (253) 228-0538 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.