A History of Highland Community Garden
Updated: Mar 21, 2022
by Lorraine Isaak – former HCG Executive
This is history is endorsed by our present day HCG executive
The garden began with a vision that happened to meet an awareness of the need for local community food growth.
The vision was embraced by a group of interested Highlanders who were willing to put time and energy into birthing this possibility. It didn’t take long before some obstacles presented themselves.
Although the land belonged to Highland there was no good soil on the property, no water, and power lines that caused concern.
Fortunately, a nearby property was being redeveloped from homes to condos and the developer offered us over sixty dump trucks of topsoil for free and promoted this project to other trades in the area which resulted in trenches dug and pipes placed from the Highland church building, across the parking lot and into the garden property site all donated, providing necessary water.
An architect was hired to plot our land and provide a schematic drawing that would direct the future work. These drawings followed the desire of a labyrinth style garden with pathways and openings that had an artistic and beautiful layout. We now knew where to build the shed, provide a gazebo in the center and create entrances to our community garden.
Skilled craftsmen and builders from our church community offered their expertise free of charge, all timeless in their design and constructability. You see them in the garden today. Shrubs were planted around the garden to enhance it’s beauty.
Initially, conversations among members at the garden was all that was needed to make decisions, but over time the number of gardeners increased and the pioneering phase developed into a work that required policies and committee management. Fees and structure were required in order for the garden to remain sustainable.
Twelve years have passed since those early days and it has never diminished in its ability to provide individuals and families a place to grow fresh local food. Gardeners at Highland continue to find committed volunteer leadership, needed tools, water, infrastructure and gracious mentoring.
Our Highland faith community has continued to be generous in their support. They offered finances at critical times, built fencing, supported needed landscaping, and continue to allow the use of water and provide mowing maintenance.