|340 Rosedale Street, Rochester, NY 14620|
|<info AT widewatergardens DOT org>|
Wide Water Gardens is a community garden in Upper Monroe, near the corner of Rosedale and Hinesdale Streets. It is described as an "urban agricultural, educational and recreational resource for residents of the City of Rochester and surrounding communities" and features 50 raised plots available for seasonal rent. Sizes include 4x4, 4x12, or 12x12 feet. The garden also features native perennial beds, fruit trees, berry bushes, and grape arbors.
The Monroe Village Harvest Fest is held here every September.
In 2009, the Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association (UMNA) petitioned the City of Rochester to purchase approximately one acre of New York State DOT land along I-490. The land had been used for I-490 construction and had been left idle since the early 1990s. Over time, the land had become an eye sore and a magnet for significant illegal activity in the neighborhood such as drug dealing, prostitution and hazardous dumping. It was the wish of the neighborhood to transform the problematic property into a large scale community garden in order to reactivate the parcel in a positive way.
In late October 2009, the City of Rochester successfully purchased the land from New York State for $1 and leased it to UMNA. During this time, UMNA commissioned a planning study to determine how best to configure the community garden on the land and gauge the costs associated with its construction. With the completed study in hand, UMNA, with help from the City, Third Rochester Enterprises Corporation and New Life Presbyterian Church, broke ground on Wide Water Community Gardens on April 22nd, 2010. Neighbors volunteered in droves to help build this new asset. Within a month, the grounds were prepared and 22 garden beds were installed. All beds were rented and filled within one week.
Scarcely two years later, Wide Water Community Gardens is the largest and most heavily used community garden in the City of Rochester. It consists of 50 rentable plots and hosts a variety of beautiful, public food-producing and ornamental gardens. This is a long way from the overgrown, garbage littered vacant lot it was not long ago.1
Image courtesy of Wide Water Gardens.
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