Growing Community Gardens
Established in memory of Pierce County Master Gardener Sharon Ballard, this program aims to amplify Sharon’s interest in community gardens. It is designed to provide financial assistance to help set up or maintain community gardens in Pierce County with Master Gardener involvement and support.
*New*: Seed Libraries
To help address food insecurity across Pierce County, we have started a new ‘Seed Library’ Program. Industrial Arts students at Washington High School constructed these libraries from a design at the Bonney Lake Community Garden at the direction of Pierce County Master Gardeners.
The first two libraries are located in community gardens in Eatonville (Mountain Community Garden) and in Graham (Harvest House Community Garden)
These two new Seed Libraries will be stocked and ready to go for the 2024 growing season.
Grandview Community Garden, Grandview WA
The Grandview Community Garden is a multicultural garden with members using practices from their ancestors to grow vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. In addition, they grow many species of medicinal plants and pollinators to attract bees. Milpa y Plantas Medicinales is a form of growing organically and naturally with corn, squash, and beans. The Grandview Community Garden wants to revive this practice. The Master Gardener Sharon Ballard grant is assisting with a grant to help with above ground irrigation to make sure that the whole garden can have access to water.
Orchard and Vine Community Garden,
45th and Orchard Streets , Tacoma , WA
The Orchard and Vine Community Garden is a neighborhood community garden of 22 plots. The membership volunteers to be on a team that has specific duties in different areas of upkeep, fruit trees, exterior maintenance, construction projects and tending berries. This garden gives its excess produce to the Food Bank at Mason Methodist Church.
The Sharon Ballard Community Garden grant is helping with several planter boxes to add to their garden to grow flowers for pollinators.
Harvest House Community Garden,
25713 70th Ave E, Graham WA 98338
The Harvest House Community Garden grows vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers at no cost for people in the local community. Food is harvested fresh for each individual visitor during a tour around the garden. Sustainable and natural gardening techniques are employed to mimic nature, while reduce the amount of weeding, watering, fertilizing and pest control.
The Sharon Ballard Community grant is helping with an irrigation system and supports for tomatoes and squash for vertical growing.
Mountain Community Garden,
113 Rainier Ave N., Eatonville
The Eatonville area is considered a “food desert.” The Garden’s primary purpose is to provide nutritious, organic produce to the local food bank, to educate the community on organic growing and environmentally sustainable practices, and to provide a place for community members to grow their own produce. Each garden member also contributes a portion of their produce to the food bank. The Ballard Grant was used to replace a decade old computer to improve the delivery of on-site gardening education.
SenCo Community Garden Space,
South end, Tacoma
The Ballard Grant supported installing a Wildflower garden with flowers, grasses and trees, making a sustainable garden for pollinators and wildlife – to benefit neighboring vegetable plots around this area which often have Food is Free garden beds along the streets.
How to Apply:
New or existing non-profit community gardens within Pierce County and with Master Gardener project support can apply after the first of the year. Deadline for applications is April 1st and awards are made at the end of April.
Red Barn Youth Center
The Ballard Grant helped to reinvigorate a garden at the Red Barn Youth Center. Funding and Master Gardener support was targeted at providing irrigation, a planter and berries to the garden.
JBLM McChord Garden
Partnering with GRuB (Garden Raised Bounty www.goodgrub.org ) who added four new raised beds to the fully utilized McChord Garden on the JBLM site, the SBCG Grant provided additional funding to fence in the new beds to protect from raiding deer.
St. Nicholas Catholic School
Adding community gardening to their STEM program, St. Nicholas Catholic was granted funds and support to help build raised beds so that students can experience hands on, the rewards of growing food.