The Robinwood Garden has recently won a grant for $7,800 from Clackamas County’s Healthy Eating Active Living grants program for continued progress on its Edible Landscaping progress. Within the last year, the abandoned fire station on Cedaroak Drive has been transformed into a neighborhood garden, where people are joined together in the community in the effort to promote healthy eating and living.
Lisa Clifton is one of the many individuals involved in the process of transforming the fire station, and came up with the original idea for the garden.
“With the help of my neighbors, we were able to transform the unused space into an edible landscape,” Clifton said. Clifton, with the help of her local neighbors, has successfully won two grants to help the garden flourish.
The first grant of $7660 allowed the community to create a greenhouse and plant flower beds. With the money that they have recently won, Clifton plans to beautify the garden even more and make it more efficient by adding necessities such as a deer fence to keep the produce safe. The remainder of the money will cover garden equipment for children, another greenhouse, and pay for the instructors that teach gardening and cooking classes to both adults and children. “The community is benefitted in multiple ways by this project, both in terms of health and companionship.”
“The community spirit really helps in making the garden grow and prosper,” Clifton said. She has been able to watch various groups, such as the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. A group of young magicians even gather at the Robinwood Station to perform its tricks for the community. A large part of the Robinwood society is the children, who also volunteer long hours in the garden.
Gabrielle Belmore, the children’s activity director, originally came up with the idea for providing cooking and gardening classes. Every other week the children meet up to learn about a different topic which Belmore teaches. The classes are paid for by the grant, and allow for the kids to learn about the value of healthy eating and living.
“Kids come (ages 4-11) to learn about different topics from 10 a.m. to noon,” Belmore said. “This week we are learning about potatoes.”
Since the issue of the grant, many windows of opportunity have opened for the members of the Robinwood Garden.
“The [Robinwood] Garden has become a sanctuary where neighbors can come to give and take their own ideas for their own gardens,” Clifton said. “It has brought us together as a community, and has also provided the neighborhood with a way to eat healthy and be active.”