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Community Garden Expansion Moves Forward

18 more plots and a pilot program for children are in store this growing season.

A slight warming in temperatures and the promise of a soaking rain put members of the Chatham Community Garden committee in good spirits. 

The garden, which will begin its second growing season at the corner of Division Avenue and Main Street once the weather warms, was to expand to an area directly across Main Street. But protests from Madison neighbors, which influenced land-owner PSE&G to revoke the lease of the land, changed all that.

The expansion will now add a row of plots to the existing area. Eighteen new 10-foot-by-10-foot plots and a triangular area for a pilot children's gardening program are included in the new area. 

The expanded section of the garden is in the works, and Community Garden Chair Marcy Wecker hopes it will be completed by June 1.

"We have to wait for the ground to thaw to start working," Wecker said. "We had to do a lot of planning for this expansion."

The program for children, dubbed "Kinderplots" will provide a limited number of 2-foot-by-2.5-foot plots for children and families. The program will be offered on a first come first served basis and will be available to children ages 4 to 12. Interested families can pick up an application at borough hall.

The application asks gardeners to spend two to three hours a week tending the plot, attend two instructional seminars with community garden committee members, and explain why they would like to have a garden plot. 

There is currently a waiting list for regular garden plots. 

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