The Frazer Park Community Garden is a proposed community garden for Frazer Park in the Rose City Park neighborhood of Northeast Portland. The Rose City Park Neighborhood Association conceived of the idea in early 2009 and coordinated the initial work of reaching out to residents, engaging potential stakeholders, and soliciting a neighborhood consensus around where and how big the garden should be.
Frazer Park was selected as an optimum location for a community garden as this area of Portland has been identified as having a “garden deficit” by the city. Being situated near Interstate 84 between NE 47th and NE 53rd overpasses, Frazer Park is within walking distance for a growing number of apartment complexes and rental homes. This higher density extends along both sides of I-84 from Hollywood to the South Tabor and Madison South neighborhoods. The Portland Comprehensive Plan projects an increase in density of over 200% in this area over then next 20 years, further increasing the need for garden plots.
The final plan specifies the removal of 10,000 square feet of blue-top asphalt and performing soil mitigation to accommodate 36 10’x20′ garden beds (see images below). The asphalt that is to remain will continue to support the basketball court, a child bicycle training loop (around the garden), a play area for the Albina Headstart School to the south, and a 15-foot access strip for maintenance vehicles.
An initial soil test in May of 2010 showed a high level of lead contamination at the proposed garden site. Work was suspended until the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services applied an EPA brownfield grant to further investigate the site. That second, detailed environmental assessment (PDF) showed that some lead does indeed exist at the site, but at levels that can be managed with proper mitigation (i.e., removing a layer of topsoil and replacing it with clean fill).
We are now moving into an exciting phase of working with our partners to make the garden a reality. There’s plenty to do, and we’d love to have you pitch in. You can check out our current needs for a list of building materials we are looking for, stay tuned to this site for news of volunteer opportunities, and get in touch with us to learn other ways you can help us succeed. Following is a tentative schedule for planned work through 2012:
August 2011: Ground Breaking **Big Event**
- Frazer Park Infrastructure installation
- Asphalt Removal-See event flyer (PDF) for details
- Site Mitigation
September 2011: Site Amendment
- Delivery of topsoil
- Fence Installation
- Irrigation heads
- Paths & Garden Beds
October 2011: Final Features
- Tool shed
- Public gathering area
- Winter cover crops & Perimeter Plantings
March 2012: Spring Clean Up
- Plot Assignment & Tool Purchase
- Garden Art Event **– creating kid-friendly signs
- Clean/mulch cover crop
- Import & distribute compost
April 2012: Community Garden Grand Opening **Big Event**
- Donators to be Celebrated
- Garden Tour by Plot Recipients
- Key Ingredients for continued success shared