By Susan Casey, chair, Friends of Magnolia Manor Park
After more than three years of planning, the Magnolia Manor P-Patch celebrated its grand opening on April 14, joining more than 80 other P-Patches in Seattle. The garden is located on Settle Public Utilities property and is an example of the city’s policy of co-use of public land.
This P-Patch community garden, the first on Magnolia, is funded from a variety of sources: three Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Small and Simple Neighborhood Matching Fund awards and garden funds from the 2008 Parks Levy,* private donations including one from Umpqua Bank, and more than 1400 hours of volunteer time by neighbors actually building the garden during the cold and wet months of January thru March. These volunteers moved over 145 tons of material including huge cement blocks for the retaining walls. They also installed the irrigation system and built the tool shed. The almost 50 gardeners are now planting their plots. By next spring an additional 20 plots will be added.
Speakers at the Grand Opening included Bernie Matsuno, director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods; Christopher Williams, acting director of Seattle Parks and Recreation; Sally Clark, City Council President; Sharon Knoll, volunteer garden coordinator; and Heather Ussery, Magnolia Umpqua Bank manager. The program was opened with a song by Alviin Hendricks, a neighbor who lives adjacent to the garden.
*Seattle Department of Neighborhoods supported the project with staff resources and with funding from Neighborhood Matching Fund and the P-Patch portion of the Parks and Green Spaces Levy totaling $120,000.