Many requests for a place to garden were vocalized within the Jackson area. An effort to include a community garden within the Pioneer Homestead Senior Center’s program was a first attempt at providing community members a space to garden in the early part of 1980’s.
The JHCG began as an idea in the fall of 1999. Ginny Mahood, the 4-H / Horticulture agent for the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service in Teton County partnered with a newly arrived landscape artist from Toronto Canada, Allison Fleury, to create the existing garden. Several sites were explored throughout the county and finally , working 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& #8217;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. Teton County Extension Service budgeted $3000.00 as a program item in its budget to support creating the gardens. Fund raising was concurrent with this initial site development, and a $5,000 start up grant was awarded by the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole.
The first task of the gardeners was to construct some sort of raised frame for their plots. 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 mature and has over forty plots along with a waiting list. 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. The community garden is enjoyed mostly by local residents, local schools and the senior center. It is operated as an ongoing program within the University of Wyoming Extension in Teton County. The cost of operating the garden are now obtained by the user fees charged to the gardeners and funds raised by the gardeners through the Community Foundation’s Old Bill’s Fun Run.
To get on the Wait List for a Community Garden Plot call 307-733-3087