Residents of Scott County are being invited to apply for a plot at the brand new Backstretch Gardens! The garden is a project funded by Scott County’s Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) through the Minnesota Department of Health. Scott County Public Health has partnered with Canterbury Park to provide land and convened a garden committee with representatives from Canterbury Park, the City of Shakopee, the CAP Agency, and the SouthWest Metro Intermediate District to make this garden a reality!
Backstretch Gardens was created to provide more opportunities for healthy eating through increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables. This collaborative effort will help program clients, residents, employees, and volunteers participate in community-based agriculture. Community gardens offer unique opportunities to provide healthier food options, develop new skills, and foster a greater sense of community. Produce grown in the communal garden and other garden plots will be donated to the CAP Agency food shelf in an effort to offer better food alternatives to customers.
The garden is located at 752 Canterbury Road South (Shakopee) near the Scott County Workforce Center next to Canterbury Park. Gardeners can apply for either a 4’ by 4’ plot for $25 or a 4’ by 8’ plot for $50. If more gardeners apply than there are spaces available, applicants will be entered into a lottery. Costs will be used toward ongoing water supply and other garden needs. Start-up costs are provided through Scott County SHIP and donations from partnering organizations. This includes raised beds, soil, compost, plant starts, and technical assistance from Master Gardeners. Gardeners will also have access to a communal tool shed and a reliable water source.
All Scott County residents, clients, and employees of partnering organizations and community organizations are encouraged to apply. Non-Scott County residents are also welcome to apply, but will be entered into a second-round lottery if spaces are still vacant. Scholarships are also available for those who indicate need. Applications are due on July 15, 2016 and gardeners will be notified of their plot assignment by July 20. To download an application and a copy of the garden rules, please visit http://www.scottcountymn.gov/402/Healthy-Communities or contact Jamie Bachaus, SHIP Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (952) 496-8585.