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Volunteers Begin Work on New Northwoods Community Garden

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

On a sunny and warm-for-December kind of day, a small group gathered in a corner of the large field that greets people as they enter Nicolet College’s campus.

Four large rectangles of upturned earth are a break in the field of grass that surround them.  Volunteers with the Northwoods Community Garden are taking advantage of the lack of snow to cover.

They’re rolling and cutting craft paper to cover the rectangles of dirt in hopes it will stop weeds from popping up in the spring.

“We’ll see, we really don’t know if this is going to work or not,” said Pete Zambon. He’s the President of the newly-formed Northwoods Community Garden Board.

He and other volunteers are putting in work now to help get the garden off to a good start come spring.

“For the initial construction phase, we’re doing the 48 plots. Those we’ll be distributed between these four beds. They’re each 10 ft by 20 ft. Anyone interested, any community member, can rent one for $40 a season,” said Zambon.

Zambon says Mike Hasl is the brainchild of the garden who plans to also use it as a place for people to learn about food, gardening, and sustainable practices.

Credit Katie Thoresen/WXPR
Volunteer put wood down to hold paper into place. The paper is meant to block weeds from coming up in the spring.

“If you don’t have a place to start it, it’s kind of hard to understand the concepts to get your hands dirty,” said Zambon. “This is, I think, going to be a great way for people to both practice that and do it in an environment where there are other people also learning and other people with experience so that we can learn from and share with.”

As the group starts construction on the garden, it’s also raising money for things like a fence, shed, and water supplies. Fundraising chair Tabitha Bennish says it collecting donations online throughSeed Money through December 15th.

“If we can get donations through that platform it increases our chances for matching donations from the non-profit that’s running the campaign,” said Bennish.

As the donations come in and the construction wraps up for the season, the volunteers will keep planning to make this a garden for the community.

“We’re already planning with the local 4-H group. We already have a good list of events and activities both for 4-H age levels and all age groups,” said Zambon.

Anyone interested donating to the effort or volunteer to help with garden construction is invited to contact Mike Haasl at northwoodscommunitygarden@gmail.com.

Gardeners interested in renting a plot for 2021 can contact Michelle McDonald, garden board treasurer and membership coordinator, at the same email address, northwoodscommunitygarden@gmail.com.

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