OSWEGO — The Community Garden, slated for a much-needed, $25,000 renewal granted to it by the city, should be back on track now after overcoming a two-week delay, according to Oswego Second Ward Common Councilor Shawn Burridge.
There was a problem in getting a large bulldozer to the site, Burridge said. The contractor didn’t have a trailer big enough for it. But the problem has been resolved, Burridge said, and the bulldozer should be on site by Tuesday, June 29.
“The boxes are built, the signs built. Everything’s back on board again,” he noted. “It should come together pretty quick now that the bulldozer’s heading over there. They’ve already started most of it. They need to clear more of the fence line and clean up more of the garbage that’s around there. Once that bulldozer’s there, it’ll level off really nice. Then the tiller’s coming in and then the boxes and then the paper and mulch. They didn’t give me a timeline, but it’s starting to move again, so that’s a good sign.”
Burridge said they’re hoping to get some plants in the ground, but “it’s pretty hot. That’s a problem. You start planting stuff now, it’s wicked hot, and the plants take a beating. Even if we can’t get the planting done this year, which I hope we can, I hope that these guys can get some stuff in. At least they can get the fall stuff in for next year. It’ll be a big, huge thing, and it’ll look a lot nicer.”
Burridge said they had more requests for garden beds than they had beds.
“We’ve got 60 beds going in. That’s quite a few beds. Plus there’ll be a couple handicap ones. St. Mary’s donated some boxes. We’re going to put them at the end of the row, so that’ll make it a little bit easier for them too, and there’s some shade there. It should come out pretty decent, we’re hoping.”
On June 7, Mayor William Barlow announced the city would allocate $25,000 to renovate the community garden on East Schuyler St. between East Seventh and East Ninth streets. The East Side Community Garden was first built in 2010. Over the past few years, participation slowly declined, the garden fell into disrepair and nearby homeowners took issue with the condition of the garden.
The $25,000 scope of work expected includes demolition and replacement of existing garden beds, clearing of the fence line, leveling ground to improve accessibility, addition of wheelchair accessible garden beds, fresh landscaping and a new welcome sign.
Community Garden Committee Chairwoman Kelly Mosher, originally “thrilled to get a brand-new garden area as we reorganize the community garden and get a fresh start” was not quite as thrilled two weeks into the delayed renewal.
Asked how the Community Garden’s going, Mosher recently replied, “Well, it’s not. I’m not a very happy camper. I don’t know what’s going on. It was supposed to be done in a week, and it’s been two. They plowed out all the old ones (boxes) and nothing’s moved since. It’s been that way for two weeks. They haven’t done a darned thing. It was supposed to be done two weeks ago.”
Following a 3 p.m. meeting later in the day of Mosher’s remarks, Burridge was able to reassure those interested that the East Side Community Garden will now proceed as intended.