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YMCA plans garden to serve Superior community

Produce from the garden and fruit trees will be freely available to anyone who wants it, organizers said.

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SUPERIOR — The Superior Douglas County Family YMCA is planning a community garden for residents in need of fresh produce.

The Superior City Council approved a five-year lease for property on Hill Avenue north of the YMCA where the garden will grow. In addition, a grant approved Tuesday, Dec. 20, will help get the garden started.

The YMCA will lease about 18,000-square-feet of city-owned land for $1 per year and is renewable.

The grant will help pay for finishing about a dozen beds and installing a system for watering the garden, said Hannah Bourgault, marketing and community outreach coordinator for the YMCA.

The YMCA will be installing a 275-gallon, gravity-fed water container and 500 feet of drip-irrigation hosing and timer to automate the watering of the plants.

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The YMCA also plans to plant four fruit trees that will be planted throughout the YMCA property to provide easy access to fresh produce. Trees will include two apple trees, one pear tree and a peach tree developed by the University of Minnesota to withstand harsh winters and disease.

Bourgault said the garden, which will get underway when the weather allows in late spring, is actually the second year the YMCA will have a garden. This year, they were able to get started in containers with the help of Superior Community Gardens, she said.

The vision for the garden is to have volunteers plant and maintain the YMCA community garden so produce is freely available to anyone who needs it.

“If you want a zucchini, just come by and get one,” Bourgault said.

The YMCA will provide the starters for the 2023 growing year to see how that goes.

“We don’t want any financial barriers,” Bourgault said.

The YMCA will be looking for volunteers in the spring to help get the garden started. For information or to volunteer, contact hbourgault@superiorymca.org or communitygarden@superiorymca.org.

Volunteers don’t have to be gardening experts because the YMCA will work with them, Bourgault said.

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“We’re very excited about it,” Bourgault said.

Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or snelson@superiortelegram.com.
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