Teton County Extension
255 West Deloney
Jackson, WY 83001-1708
Phone: (307) 733-3087
FAX: (307) 739-0749
E-mail: Teton Extension
The JHCG began as an idea in the fall of 1999. I had just recently moved to Jackson, Wyoming from Toronto, Canada, where there are many community gardens. I am a landscape architect by training, and love to garden. I started to put the word out that I was interested in getting a garden started in Jackson. The original site for the garden was the Hardeman Barns in Wilson, Wyoming, which were at that time, being utilized by the Snake River Institute. Unfortunately, that organization no longer exists in the Valley. The Hardeman Barn site began to look less likely as time went on, and soon other locales were seriously discussed. In conjunction with the Teton County Pathways Department, the current JHCG site was selected. This half acre triangular piece of land is owned by the Town of Jackson, and was designated as a site for a park or open space.
After meeting with Town of Jackson Planning Staff, it was determined that a Conditional Use Permit would be required in order for the garden to be developed. This permit was obtained in the spring of 2000, and the garden began to "take seed." The site was stripped of weeds and rocks, with the soil put through a screener for future use. The site was divided into 36 full size plots (10 x 15') and 5 children's plots (5' x 5'). A water line was run from the main line which divides the site, and hose bibs were installed for every four garden plots. Fund raising was concurrent with this initial site development, and a $5,000 start up grant was awarded from the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole. Many other individuals donated funds to the garden, with donations ranging from $5 to $5,000. The plots were laid out with the help of a local landscape contractor, and the first gardeners began planting in mid-June 2000.
The first task of the gardeners was to construct some sort of raised frame for their plot. Most of these original frames are still at the garden. Additional topsoil, manure, compost, and sand were available for the gardeners to add to their plot. A few good crops were harvested that summer, and many friendships began.
The garden is now entering it's fourth summer. We have added a beautiful fence, an entry sign, an information board, a shed (built by the local high school students), 3 Aspen trees and 2 Crab Apple trees, and most recently, a picnic table. For the first time, all the plots were full with a waiting list last summer.
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