Northampton Press

Friday, January 17, 2020

Borough seeks funding for garden

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

Community project to provide fresh produce for people in financial need

Northampton Borough Council and borough Manager LeRoy Brobst are looking into a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to help fund a proposed community garden to benefit families in the borough.

At the April 18 council meeting, Victor Rodite, borough community planner, was given the approval to prepare the CDBG paperwork. The community garden’s future depends on being awarded the grant, Brobst said, adding he thought it likely the borough would receive the funding.

“My hope is that we can get all of this planning and coordination completed by May 14, which is our CDBG grant application deadline,” Rodite said.

The community garden is planned for borough-owned land on Canal Street, near the Northampton Regional EMS quarters, Canal Street Park and the Northampton Area Food Bank. Brobst said he hoped to have the ground tilled and the planting completed in 2020.

“The objective of this garden is to provide fresh produce for people in financial need through the Northampton Area Food Bank,” Rodite said.

The grant funding sought is $6,000, less than the initial $10,000, for the proposed community garden.

“I will need to create the garden plan with Pat Knopf, the leader of the People Standing Up group,” Rodite said. “If Pat agrees to work with a Master Gardener, we will then have professional input into the design, operation and maintenance of this garden.”

Penn State Extension has a Master Gardener program.

Knopf will head the farmers market this year.

“My hope is that the Master Gardener collaborator will also introduce some flowers to enhance the appearance of the community garden plot, helping it to be an asset for the Canal Street neighborhood,” Rodite said.

Concurrent with the CDBG garden project, Rodite said he and Brobst are working out the details for the borough’s proposed repaving project in areas of the borough that will not be dug up during work by water and gas companies.