Want to grow your own food, meet your neighbors, and get some exercise at the same time? Then a Portland Community Gardens plot may be just the ticket for you. Since 1975, Portland Parks & Recreation has sponsored community gardens throughout the city—there are now over fifty! We are lucky to have three of them in the neighborhoods served by Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN) including one adjacent to Woodlawn Park in our neighborhood. These three are: Kennedy at NE 35th Avenue and Jessup Street directly behind the parking lot of McMenamin’s Kennedy School; Sabin at NE 19th Avenue and Skidmore Street in the Sabin Hydropark; and Woodlawn on NE 11th Avenue next to the Woodlawn Elementary School.
Community gardeners “rent” a plot of land anywhere from 50 to 800 square feet; ADA-accessible raised beds are also available in some of the gardens. An annual rental fee includes access to water as well as tools, wheelbarrows, and compost. Scholarships are available. Garden plots are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis and, these days, many gardens do have long waiting lists. Lots more information is available online at Portland Parks and Recreation.