Letter to the editor: How does Jeffco's garden grow?

Posted 5/8/20

Springtime is a very important season for gardeners. Food crisis looming— every day of this growing season counts heavily. This year, after springtime crops were planted, JCPS abruptly …

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Letter to the editor: How does Jeffco's garden grow?

Posted
Springtime is a very important season for gardeners. Food crisis looming— every day of this growing season counts heavily. This year, after springtime crops were planted, JCPS abruptly announced that gardeners were barred gardening in JCPS/DUG gardens.

The reasons for this were difficult to understand. Gardeners do not enter through building doors. Food distributions continue on school properties; joggers and dog-walkers run the grounds; and children continue playing on playground equipment.

Further, only two districts within the Denver metro area, closed school gardens. DUG maintains current leases with JCPS for its gardens; DUG carries all liability and insurance for its gardens and gardeners.

Seeking to clear up confusion, gardeners reached out to JCPS, but received JCPS’ rebuff:  ‘It has come to my attention that several emails …have been sent to Jeffco Leadership regarding current access restrictions. Please do not contact leadership regarding garden access.’

Yes, JCPS announced it would re-open the gardens later this week, but with no guarantees they would remain open. Any seeds placed in the soil, are a roll of the dice. Gardeners will lock up shovels and become Covid-risk managers - putting the productivity of gardens and the cohesion of the garden community at risk.

Gardeners work on margins - in the margins of daylight, on the margins of JCPS properties, alongside the marginalized, too. Nurse, lawyer, homeless and handicapped - we’re all dirty, humbled, relying on patience and sweat together. Ignoring scribbles in the margin before a big test, JCPS? A gamble for sure.
 
Heather Walaszek,
Wheat Ridge

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