What seemed like a straight-forward proposal turns out not to be with the Cedar Rapids City Council and the Oakhill Jackson Neighborhood’s plan for a community garden. Rick Smith’s Eye on the Island blog mentions the red tape the group has encountered. Following is the latest correspondence from Oakhill Jackson Neighborhood Association president Michael Richards:
From: Michael Richards, President/Oakhill Jackson Neighborhood ASSN.
To: Ms.Sina/Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation
The City Council made a decision to back the establishment of a community demonstration garden in the Oakhill Jackson Neighborhood nearly one month ago at the City Council meeting on March 26th.
We are in Iowa where we have a limited growing season. The extended delays with getting this timely project launched are a mark of extreme inefficiency in our local City government. If a business operated with such extreme inefficiency, it would be out of business in short order.
You are now telling me that you have to “take this back to City Council” after a formal decision was already made on this same project by the City Council one month ago?
This is a very well organized community effort. The Oakhill Jackson Community Garden Project is not a random group of people heading out to a city park with a hoe.
Below is the list of organizations that are providing funding and gardening expertise to this exemplary community project;
1. Linn County Master Gardeners of the Linn County Extension Service/Iowa State University
2. Iowa Network for Community Agriculture This Statewide organization of professional operators of
CSA/farms all over the State of Iowa are providing funding and expertise.
3. Practical Farmers of Iowa (statewide organization that supports sustainable agriculture)
4. Kalona Organics (a coalition or Amish family farms that are binging healthy food to Iowa
5. The Kalona/Organics-Metro High fresh produce project
6. Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development (six county soil and water conservation organization that includes Linn County.
7. Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University
8.I-Food Local Food Coalition (about 40 local organizations are participating including United Way, Prairiewoods, Grinnell College, ISU, and many local elected officials.
Back to Cindy: Rick Smith said it looks more likely that the garden will go somewhere other than what the neighborhood association had hoped for. More undoubtedly will follow.