A Garden for All

RAP and the City partner in Community Garden Project

community garden Curve-2b h In a big first, food will soon be grown on City of Jacksonville property. Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) is partnering with the city to open the Riverside Avondale Community Garden, centrally located in the neighborhoods it serves on the corner of Park Street and Azalea Terrace –  across the street from Willowbranch Park. RAP is hoping to break ground this fall and have the garden open for planting soon thereafter.
community garden Curve-1In designing the garden, RAP partnered with the AIA’s Emerging Design Professionals for a design contest held in April 2014 during the Riverside Avondale Tour of Homes. Garden designs were presented to tour participants who then cast their votes. Expert judges were brought in to choose from two finalists, and the winning design was chosen: Simple Curve, designed by Dorina Bakiri. Bakiri received her Masters in Architecture from the University of Florida in 2010, then moved back to Jacksonville and now works with RS&H. She is working on the design’s execution with RAP and the contest judges, including architect Doug Lane and landscape architect Susan Fraser, the project manager.
The Simple Curve design gets its name from the feature wall along Park Street — a horizontal curving wall made of slatted wood. The curves’ undulations create public seating, with benches constructed into both commnity garden Curve-2the interior and exterior curves. Inside, the curves’ construction will also house built-in compost bins, to be nourished regularly with Bold Bean Coffee Roaster’s used coffee grounds. Roses will be planted in front of the curved wall along Park Street to honor the Willowbranch Rose Garden it faces.
The entrance to the garden will be on Azalea Terrace, with bike racks and additional public seating areas. Inside will be over forty plots, mostly 4 x 20 feet, including raised and wheelchair-accessible plots. There will be fruit trees and herbs planted for public comsumption, and a gathering space for community events and educational programs. RAP is already planning events such as community dinners made from the produce grown in the garden.
A contractor has been hired to construct the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant entryway, and pavers and green wall materials have been ordered, but the rest is up to volunteers. To help cover the remaining costs, RAP is seeking additional sponsorships, and the group has put together a raffle so that contributors have the opportunity to win a prize.
To learn more about the Riverside Avondale Community Garden, visit riversideavondale.org.

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Author: Arbus

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