Sitka Local Foods Network and Transition Sitka embarked on a mission to create what is fondly termed in Italian as an “orto di orto” or a garden of gardens, yet their progress seemed minimal at first glance.

Near the end of Jarvis Street, past the Post Office on Sawmill Creek Road, there are now survey stakes marking the future site of the Jarvis Street Community Garden. These stakes, although seemingly insignificant, symbolize the extensive groundwork already laid for the project.

Plans are underway for more visible advancements by mid-summer, although it might take some time before the garden becomes a green and thriving oasis. The next few months are crucial for preparing the half-acre site, including winning a bid for a horticulture project proposed by Sitka’s Planning Department, negotiating a long-term lease, and obtaining city approval through ordinance passage by the Assembly.

The support from the city’s administration, staff, and Assembly has been encouraging, suggesting that significant progress is on the horizon. This summer’s objectives include clearing the land, erecting fences, and installing gates, alongside creating a parking area and a support structure for the garden. The construction of the support structure, set to house restrooms, tool storage, and a shelter, is scheduled to begin next spring, along with the development of garden beds.

By 2026, the Jarvis Street Community Garden will offer over forty 10’ by 20’ plots to local residents, providing a valuable space for nurturing their own kitchen gardens. This initiative not only fosters community engagement but also promotes sustainable living and local food production.

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