The Town of Lovettsville’s community garden might not produce any fruits or vegetables for the remainder of this year, but the town is working to ensure the harvest is fruitful in 2020.
The Town Council last Thursday night voted to direct the town staff to suspend operations at the town’s community garden at Quarter Branch Park for the rest of the year. The vote came three months after the Lovettsville Garden Club disbanded. Staff members are preparing a plan for the Infrastructure Committee that will prompt discussions on finding a new group to take charge of the garden for the next growing season, which begins in March.
Town Manager Rob Ritter said the club disbanded because the majority of the gardening work was being handled by only a few of its members, which led to uneven workloads and an inability to continue operations. Ritter said the town would more actively discuss the possibility of finding another group to manage the garden this fall. “There’s a lot of logistics that we need to work out,” he said.
Per the club’s 2015 agreement with the town, if it disbanded, it was required to “remove all fencing, plantings, plots, equipment and other improvements and infrastructure from the site and restore the disturbed areas with grass seed.”
Because the town intends to keep the garden in its present condition until it finds a new group to take over in spring 2020, garden club members will not be required to undertake that work. Instead, the town will retain $500 from the club’s account to fund that work if it’s unable to identify a new group to take over.
Any new group that takes charge in the community garden will be required to enter into a new agreement with the town. Ritter said that agreement would likely be similar, if not identical, to the agreement it had with the garden club.
The 6-acre Quarter Branch Park was donated to the town by the developer of New Town Meadows in 2005 and now features a field with a walking path that the town will eventually upgrade to a rock dust trail with the possible addition of fitness stations, park benches and a nature trail in the lower wooded area.