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Call for Feedback on Sharing Garden Paths

The Sharing Garden Committee has made a request to install accessible, permeable and low-maintenance paths in the Sharing Garden. Currently, the Sharing Garden is using sheets of plywood laid on the ground, which buckle due to the moisture and need to be replaced each year. In 2013, we hosted gardening programs with senior citizens from Plainfield and patients from Children’s Specialized Hospital, and some of them had difficulty walking in the Sharing Garden. Accessible paths would create a safer environment for everyone, including those working in the garden, and any groups that visit our Sharing Garden.

Five options have been investigated including the following: pavers, stone dust, wooden “boardwalk”, two types of wheelchair-accessible mats, and accessible interlocked cellular rings filled with gravel. Several of these options were ruled out because they will likely need to be re-installed every few years, and would make upkeep difficult. The consensus is to use pavers given that it is permanent (but removable), accessible, low-maintenance and attractive.

The cost for the installation of the sharing garden paths include labor and material costs to prepare the ground, lay the pavers, and purchase the permeable pavers themselves. The ground preparation alone requires removing 4-6 inches of soil, replacing with sand or stone dust, and leveling and grading to ensure proper runoff. Labor and material cost estimates received so far are approximately $8000 for paving the two entryways and center path (approx. 600sq ft). If the 22 side paths between the raised beds are also included, the total estimated cost is $16,500 (approx. 1250sq ft).

The plan is to apply for grants to fund the cost of the sharing garden paths. Since this is a time-consuming process, and once awarded, grants can typically only be used for the purpose for which they are requested, the Executive Board needs to approve the request now so that the grant applications can go ahead.

The Executive Board recommends approving this proposal and will be making a final decision at the next Board Meeting on December 4, 2013. This post is the start of a “call for feedback” from the membership on the above request.

Please fill out the poll to indicate whether you approve or disapprove of the proposal to install accessible paths in the Sharing Garden. If you have comments or questions, please email the President, Carol Walczuk ,at cwalczuk@comcast.net. The feedback period lasts until November 22, 2013.

Thank you
Executive Board

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Reminder: This poll is not a vote. We are interested in membership feedback.