Work begins on Vermillion Community Garden

Work begins on Vermillion Community Garden
On Sunday, April 1, over 20 gardeners met in the back lot of the Washington Street Arts Center to begin construction of the new Vermillion Community Garden. The old sculpture site on the lot was cleaned and leveled and the sod was stripped off a large triangular bed on the southwest corner of the lot to make way for a sign and perennial flower bed to be planted and maintained by the Vermillion Garden Club. In addition, 10 4'x8' garden plots were constructed by the work crew, and a fence line was laid out to protect the plots from animals and to delineate the primary garden space.

Ten more plots are scheduled for construction in the primary garden space, though the large, open lot leaves plenty of room for expansion beyond the initial 20 plots. The Community Garden group now seeks individuals and community organizations to lease the plots for this garden season with a maximum of one plot for individuals or families and two for organizations.

The group is working on plans for a tool shed, gazebo, benches, and two more large perennial beds on the site, as well as a compost and soil area. Future plans include the addition of sculpture and other artwork from local artists. The biggest need at the moment is a thick mulch layer in the aisles surrounding the beds in order to negate the need to mow the grass in those areas. The group welcomes monetary and material donations toward their goal of a garden space the whole community can enjoy and be proud of. Monetary donations can be sent to the Vermillion Area Arts Council, P.O. Box 484 Vermillion, SD 57069 with a note indicating the donation is to be used for the community garden project. Donations are tax-deductible. If you have materials you wish to donate, please contact Rebecca Terk at (605) 202-0252 or

Those individuals and community groups wishing to lease plots should contact Alex Berke at or 677-6338 by Monday, April 23. Plot leases will be very affordable (between $15 and $25 for the entire season), and will include a small number of work hours toward the garden project as a whole. The Community Garden group is committed to sustainability and the garden will be organic, with on-site water available from a rainwater collection tank located on the premises. Leases will include a list of approved organic materials and "garden buddies" will be available to help less experienced gardeners. Some taller, wheelchair-accessible beds will be installed near the parking area.

The next Community Garden workday will occur on Easter Monday (April 9) at 1 p.m. Please bring tools (flat-bladed shovels are especially helpful) and the desire to be a part of a "growing" Vermillion tradition.

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