(Submitted by Michele Finn. Let's hope there is a solution at hand)
Agenda we covered for May 9th Meeting
Opening garden update.
Accomplishments since our last February meeting are as follows.
We have located a garden site which Indiana Landmarks has provided.
We pursued our own 501c and were offered services by Brandon Smith of Faith Ingle Smith.
During that time Keep New Albany Clean and Green offered for us to work under their status and will help us with insurance for the first year. This will save us close to $900, which is the approximate cost of the non profit status and also will help with the need of insurance.
Christina Pfau has provided us with a wonderful garden rendition.
Nathan Fessel has provided us with two great logo choices.
We have priced cedar raised beds already made at a cost of around $170 and decided we could probably save a lot of money building them ourselves. We have contacted New Albany's PC Lumber and they are offering us lumber at cost!
Dan Cristiani from Earth First donated a tri axel of rich top soil for the back of the garden site.
Jerry Finn & Mark Seabrook donated equipment to be used and Irv Stumler leveled the garden area.
Mark Seabrook, Kevin Zurschmiede & Irv Stumler worked to take down black walnut tree that was covering the back of the lot. Black walnuts are very toxic to almost all plants and the tree was damaged.
Eco Tech provided the dumpster for the tree removal.
The Emery's building has been moved to the site.
We received the test results from the soil samples. It took five weeks to get them back.
Because of the results, elevated levels of lead in the soil, we will have to remediate the site to make it safe for everyone. We are not experts in this dept. Precautions such as fabric barriers, raised beds, heavy mulch can be applied.
What should we do?
All of this work has been done with in kind donations.
We can use our best efforts to make it safe but the Emery's building will have to be scraped following a proper procedure and painted with lead incapsulating paint before we can move forward with making the site safe.
We must take a pause and see if we can make a summer or fall garden.
* Since the meeting several of you have emailed or called me all with the same thought. As one of you put it, we have put all of our eggs in one basket. I've also had some of you call and tell me we need a garden at a safer location. I'll be honest, this site is the only one that was offered in the midtown/downtown area. The only other proposed location is at Northside Christian Church. I haven't spoken to them recently but I hope their garden operation if going smoothly! The original idea was for an urban garden to set an example in the city and have it accessible by walking or bike riding. All garden members are welcome to search for another garden site so that the Urban Fusion Community Garden can start planting as soon as possible.
Some have stated that we can make 707 Culbertson Ave safe quickly. I personally will not accept a quick fix. According to the University of Massachusetts Lab levels of over 300 ppm are not safe for children or pregnant women. They would be at risk for lead poisoning. The current level is 393 ppm. My children will be with me all summer and we have gardener(s) that are expecting. Even if we made the back of the lot safe, the dirt mounds around the Emery's building and the lead paint on the building itself would contaminate our clean soil. Not to mention, where would the money come from to do so? Where would the money and efforts come from to fix the Emery's building? We have lost this season's planting window already. It's time keep looking.
The turn around time for soil test results is two weeks. If you know of a sight that might work, go ahead and take a sample. I'll attach a link on how to do so.
Click on Routine for Home Gardens
Keep your thumbs green! We have come very far since November and we will make Community Gardens a reality in New Albany!
Michele Finn, UFCG