The Ottumwa Courier


April 30, 2014

United Way offering garden space to Ottumwans

OTTUMWA — The United Way of Wapello County announced in early April that they would be expanding on their Corporate Community Garden project this year to include a spot where Ottumwans can grow their own fruits and vegetables. Thursday they will be holding an informational meeting about the new garden and how it can help families around the community and to show off the new garden site.

This is the second year for the Corporate Community Garden project, but last year it was designated only to businesses and organizations from all over Wapello County.

Participants cared for the raised beds in the gardens, and all of the food grown was donated to the Lord’s Cupboard, Food Bank and individuals in need around the community.

After United Way got input from residents about creating a spot where families could grow their own produce, they decided to expand on the project to include a garden where members can be responsible for their own gardens, and the city of Ottumwa was quick to offer the perfect location.

The city has offered a vacant lot located at 605 Ellis St. for the project, and United Way is holding informational meetings at the site Thursday — at 11 a.m. and again at 4 p.m. — to help Ottumwans learn a little more about the services available to them and tour the garden site.

The new community garden will both serve as a way to help those in need get freshly grown produce and to teach community members how to care for a garden. Those who use the garden will be responsible for the upkeep, security and growth of their plot.

There is a cost to owning a plot in the garden, but there is a sliding scale with various prices. Also, plot owners will get to choose what they want to grow at their respective plot and how they want to design it.

For more information about the community garden or any other services that United Way offers, call 641-682-1264 or visit the website at

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