There are so many wonderful things taking place throughout Clearwater, but there is one little gem that got started in 2014 and is the best kept secret. The Clearwater Community Garden sits on .25 acres on the corner of Grove St and Betty Ln at 1277 Grove St.
In an area of town that was once run down with beaten up motels and homes falling apart, this little corner of our community is now exponentially safer and pedestrian friendly. They even have a pop-up library box right in front of the garden which is frequently utilized by residents. A true example of successful community rejuvenation.
The Clearwater CRA owns the property and leases it to the garden for $1 per year. Pretty sweet deal! 😊
As for the business model and overhead the good fortune continues. It costs only about $10,000-$15,000/year to operate, this primarily goes to the water bill and a few miscellaneous expenses. The garden itself is 100% volunteer/member driven. Membership to the garden gets you your own gardening box, if you would like one, it is ONLY $25/yr. If you want your own gardening box it is only $35 additional the first year for a lease. The rest of the financial support comes from local donors, corporate sponsors, and a few fundraising events.
Lowe’s was awesome enough to donate all the wood needed for the boxes, and along with the support of Nature’s Food Patch, Moss, Abe’s Place, The Ring, and SI Electric Solar Independence this incredible local amenity continues to thrive. If you would like to learn more or donate, click the following link – https://clearwatercommunitygardens.org/
Nature’s Food Patch donates all the pulp from their juice bar for the garden’s compost. From what they told us it is the MOST AMAZING compost in town, with numerous residents come by just to purchase some for their own gardening.
One of the elements that we found exceptionally awesome are the beehives, there were 2 hives when we stopped by with 4 more getting built. Howard Warshauer, one of the Clearwater Community Garden’s founding members, told us the bees travel up to 4 miles from their hive so in addition to serving the garden they are out there pollinating as far north as Dunedin and south to Largo!
Each year the garden hosts 4-5 events and plant sales which help contribute to the overhead. Throughout the year when members who are growing vegetables have a surplus, they are donating the overflow to local soup kitchens.
Outside of the larger events the garden host regular education events open to the community about various aspects of gardening. So, whether you have a green thumb or not, these wonderful folks will help you keep that basil plant alive. :-p
Special “Thank You!” to the City of Clearwater, Downtown CRA, Downtown Clearwater Partnership, and Clearwater Garden Club for your continued support for the Community Garden.
To learn more about upcoming events, classes, or ways to get involved click on the link: https://clearwatercommunitygardens.org/
Have an AWESOME day!