Dickinson Park Community Garden Questions & Answers

  • Where in the park would a garden be located??
    We are considering two locations - one at the top of the park and south of the playground area. The other potential location is at the bottom of the park, on the southwest side.
  • How big would a community garden be?
    The Portland Community Garden office requires a minimum of 10,000 sq feet for a new garden. This would allow for about 20 full size garden plots (20' x 20'). The space at Dickinson would support a larger garden area.
  • How much of the total park area would this cover?
    A 10,000 sq foot area would be about 3 - 4% of the total open area of the park. A larger garden space would still leave plenty of open space in the park.
  • Has a decision been made to develop a garden in the park?
    No. The neighborhood associations (Crestwood and Ashcreek) are planning for community outreach activity. This will gather community input which will be used by the neighborhood associations as the basis for recommendations about the possibility of pursuing a garden.
  • When would the garden be built?
    A garden in the park hasn't yet been approved and no timetable has been set.
  • What about the slope? Isn't Dickinson too steep for a garden?
    A study of the site hasn't been done, but the Portland Community Garden office has visited the park and considers that a garden site here is feasible.
  • What about the Dickinson Park Master Plan?
    Portland Parks & Recreation established a master plan in 2000 with input from a Citizen Advisory Committee, the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services and Metro. At that point, a community garden was not considered, but it was also not excluded. The activities of a community garden are consistent with the goals established by the Master Plan.
  • What is needed to build a garden?
    A community garden needs to have water, fencing, plots staked out, foot paths and possible soil improvements. A water meter would have to be installed along with piping for several water spouts.
  • How much will this cost?
    Costs will vary depending on the size of the garden and how many plots and raised beds there are. The full cost of a community garden in Portland can be $25,000 or more.
  • How will this be funded?
    The neighborhood association has some funds remaining from other projects. There are some potential sources of grant money. However, at this point, funding is not secured.
  • What other options are there for a community garden location?
    There are no existing community gardens in the Crestwood / Ashcreek region. Other spaces of public land were considered, but there is no other feasible space. The closest existing community garden is in Gabriel Park.
  • What level of demand is there for community garden space? How do we know it will be used?
    Demand for community garden space has significantly increased in recent years. Portland Community Gardens has waiting lists of 150 people for Gabriel and Vermont Hills gardens, and a waiting list of over 1600 city wide.
  • Why are community gardens popular now?
    There has been a surge of interest in local food and establishing a food chain apart from large industrial food production. Community gardens represent an alternative way to grow food and a great way to form ties within a community.