Campus & Community

Bridge Community Garden takes root

DU’s Bridge Community Garden has arrived just in time for spring planting this past Saturday.

The garden—located across from Centennial Halls at 1819 S. High Street—will be a place where neighbors and members of the DU community can request small plots of land to grow their own veggies, flowers and fruits.

Ben Waldman, a junior international studies major and co-administrator of the Garden Steering Committee, anticipates the site will provide between 12 and 15 plots measuring 150 square feet, although plots may be halved to allow for more gardeners.

The land, which DU purchased in 2005, will be converted to the garden at a cost of up to $12,000, Waldman says. The DU Environmental Team and the AUSA Sustainability Committee have already contributed more than half the cost, he says, and are working to fund the rest.

The money will go toward costs associated with irrigation, soil amendment, community features (grill, arbors, picnic benches), tools, a shed, a seed bank, gravel pathways and shrubs.

Plot-holders must abide by the University’s license and use agreement as well a number of stipulations devised by the Garden steering committee. They also must pay an annual fee of $25. Gardeners who adhere to these rules are eligible to retain their plot the following year. Plot-holders will be notified in advance if the University uses the land for future development or expansion.

Plots will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Volunteer work to establish the garden will continue through the month of April; planting can begin once garden infrastructure is complete.

The garden will be strictly organic, and the committee plans on organizing monthly workshops on topics such as managing pests organically, basic gardening, composting, canning food and conserving water. Michael Buchenau, executive director of Denver Urban Gardens, designed the garden’s layout.

In addition, two federal work-study positions will be established to assist with organizing workshops and managing conflicts, Waldman says.

Several neighbors have credited the project with helping to break down the “invisible wall” between DU and the surrounding community, according to Zoee Turrill, AUSA Sustainability Committee member. While this partially explains the garden’s name, it was also somewhat fated — explains Gail Neujahr, a neighbor and garden steering committee co-administrator — as students found a broken foot bridge on the property. The students intend to repair the foot bridge and re-install it on the site.

Waldman believes the garden will improve the community’s health in more ways than one.

“It started out certainly because of environmental reasons,” he says. “But now I can see the huge benefits for the community in terms of building stronger bonds and mobilizing the community to tackle other issues.”

Students, faculty, staff and neighbors interested in obtaining a plot can send a request via e-mail or visit for more information.

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