In 2012, the City of Tulsa Park and Recreation Department turned an inoperable park pool at Challenger 7 Park into a garden for the surrounding community to enjoy. The garden was established with the goal of creating a sustainable way for families in low-income areas to grow fresh produce. Residents are welcome to help in the garden and learn how to grow their own vegetables and fruits. The garden also helps with educational opportunities for the community through nutrition education, gardening classes, and cooking classes. The more experienced gardeners will be teaching volunteers the art of organic gardening and will be using compost, mulch, and organic fertilizers – no toxic chemicals.
The concept of the garden initially came from Victoria Bartlett. Following that early idea, Lucy Dolman and the park maintenance crew provided the infill of the pool. Now the pool house is used to store garden equipment as well as STAR community clean up equipment. The OSU Extension Office and Amanda Howard of Amanda’s Greenhouse donated some plants and seeds.
Getting more volunteers and an irrigation system are top on the priorities for the group. Community volunteers of all ages and skill sets are needed to plant, pull weeds, and harvest. Monetary donations or gift cards to garden stores are needed for equipment and supplies.
Kathy Chenoweth says, “the garden is a fun place to learn and work together. Soon we’ll be adding some Garden 101 courses”
For more info or to find out how to get involved in the Garden, contact Ed VanDelft or Karen Nelson 602.793.6684, or join the Challenger 7 Community Garden Facebook page.