The Rangely Community Gardens (the Gardens) was established in 2010 to promote gardening in Rangely and provide fresh produce to the community, especially the needy. The Gardens’ existing site was an unused lot filled with grasses, weeds, sage brush, and greasewood brush and was cleared by local business's in-kind services in the fall of 2010. In June 2011, the Rangely Community Gardens opened with 18 family garden parcels, and the Steering Committee and community volunteers planted a large community garden to help feed the hungry. The garden parcels increased to 26 in 2012 and 30 for 2013, with the remaining space planted and harvested to be donated and/or sold to the community, with 50% donated to local food bank and school lunch program. In 2014 the steering team reduced the space allotted to leased garden parcels to make room for a Children’s Garden and Orchard. Every year the Gardens' volunteers gather in early spring to plant the flowers that line the Town's Main St. (pictured above) and care for them in the Greenhouse.
Members and volunteers work as a team to maintain an organically cultivated community garden that educates children and adults about food production and promotes home gardening and landscaping. We encourage cooperative involvement to strengthen and beautify our community. We seek to provide affordable access to fresh, healthy food to our community as well as relief for the poor, elderly, or underprivileged, with donations of fresh produce both to individuals and established government or non-profit organizations that assist these groups. We wish to serve as a venue for everyone to experience the joys of gardening!
The Gardens is Divided into 6 Areas
- Garden Parcels make up about a quarter of the Gardens' property. We lease up to 22 individual plots for members to grow their own vegetables, herbs, fruits, and/or flowers.
- The Botanical Garden sets the atmosphere of the Gardens with a beautiful array of grasses, shade and fruit trees, and many ornamental shrubs and flowers.
- The Community Cooperative Garden features a variety of vegetables that are grown organically and provide fresh produce to our volunteers and community. In addition to annual vegetables, it includes a strawberry patch and herb garden, and is grown and maintained exclusively by volunteers.
- The Pumpkin Patch, which is very popular with our community preschool and elementary school kids, is an opportunity for all regional children to visit the garden and pick out a free pumpkin near Halloween.
- The Children’s Garden is a whimsical space where children learn to garden, enjoy the outdoors, engage in active play, and get dirty. It is a miniature version of the Community Garden, with individual plots for children who wish to grow their own gardens, a flower garden for picking, and a mud kitchen and play house to engage children in healthy, active play. There are also small plots dedicated to single vegetables that participants grow and harvest together. These areas invite children to participate in the garden at any time during the growing season, allow them to observe and sample food in its natural state, and encourage enthusiasm for healthy eating. The produce is available to families, and extra is donated to the schools and WIC Program. The Children’s Garden also partners with the schools to be used as an outdoor classroom for nature, science and nutrition and hosts tours and field trips through the season.
- The Orchard, or “Food Forest” is an expansion of the Children’s Garden. It hosts fruit trees, berry bushes, shrubs, herbacious plants and grasses. We partnered with a CNCC faculty member and permaculture expert who designed the Orchard to imitate the function of natural ecosystems. It demonstrates an alternative gardening approach which is both practical, functional, and educational.