Well this past Saturday dawned cold and sunny.
We were excited to help with this wonderful project at Coytown Garden (just off 50 near Colonial Plaza Shopping Center). We were surprised by how large a group had already gathered when we got their at 8:50 on Saturday morning. It turns out volunteers from the Orlando Mountain Bike group and Summit Church were on hand to help out as well.
The first thing you notice is this was a former military site. The buildings aren't a dead give away, but the fenced in area with traditional barbed wire top sure was. Making our way towards check-in I was excited to see many families coming to help with small children - it is heartwarming to see little ones putting on gardening gloves!! At the talk before we get started, we found out their will also be a mountain biking trail that is opening up, so bike enthusiasts keep an eye on this project it's going to be good fun to enjoy Florida style mountain bike trails....... Summit church was also hosting a bbq near their church afterwards as a thank you for a job well done, bonus!
After signing in their were three groups; Those working the mountain bike trail sort of disappeared into the wilderness. A group headed off to the park perimeter and soon we could hear a chainsaw buzzing to clear a few trees and debris a bit later. We headed over to the garden area and met Brendan Wood, the organizer of this project and Tia Meer who is doing lots to help get the garden up and running. Our task was to help clear debris inside the fenced in area which had once held ammunitions (I believe) and is 100' by 130' a BIG garden site. Tia told us later on, the first stage will be to have 27 beds. We got to work - with my husband and I raking and our son jumped in with loppers to go at a huge mound of tree roots. ;)
It was fantastic to see such diversity in one space, just like nature itself, there were kids around 3, teens, a host of college students, who were adept at keeping our 8yr old son engaged and lopping off tree root after tree root. All in all; there was much raking and hacking, pieces of fence were ripped off, the barbed wire came down (yippee!) and mulch was layed.
It was quite a transformation!! In just 3 hours this area really felt like it was soon to be a garden. How very exciting.
We headed over and were pleasantly surprised by the large Summit Church BBQ, we got our 4R sandwich, chips and an icy cold drink and headed back to the warmth of the car it had been a busy morning. We were ready to stretch out at home and relax our muscles. :)
The Coytown Garden has it's own websitehttp://www.coytowngarden.com where Brendan details the steps taken to get this far and up and coming events.