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City to lease community gardening space

Mar 8, 2011 12:05:00 AM - thestate.com
Beginning April 1, residents can lease a 5-by-12-foot plot at one of several community gardens scattered throughout Columbia, part of the city’s new program to encourage healthy lifestyles

The city will provide soil, compost and water for $20 a year. Gardeners provide the seeds and labor, with a limit of two plots per household. City officials will start accepting applications next week.

Several Columbia area neighborhoods already have community gardens, including one at McDuffie and Gervais streets in the Lyon Street community, and one on Wiley Street off Rosewood Drive, in the Edisto Court community.

But this is the first time the city has made land available for rent, as many other cities do. The application process includes guidelines and a pledge aspiring gardeners have to sign promising, among other things, they will maintain their plots and not grow marijuana.

“It’s not the city’s goal to stagnate or strangle the process,” Senior Assistant City Manager Allison Baker said. “We just want to put a framework in place where we can have a successful growth of community gardens.”

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