Who are we?
We are a group of individuals, with a common passion for soil, plants and community. We garden together at Marymoor Park, located in Redmond, WA. Our non-profit organization and social-club 501(c)7, is managed by volunteers who share their expertise and time for the benefit of the group. Membership to our organization is based on plot availability, which requires a small rental fee and community service requirement. Currently, we rent 202 full-size plots measuring 10 x 40 and 14 half-size plots measuring 10 x 20.
We cultivate fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers for our own use and donate some of that produce for the benefit of Hopelink. From 2002 to 2016 foodbank efforts have grown, collected and delivered approximately 80,000 lbs. of produce for local families in need.
Who were we?
According to garden legend, Marymoor Community Garden began in the 1960’s as a park feature. Some daring King County employee or group decided to create a community garden that was approximately 3 acres at Marymoor Park. Surveyor posts were installed and irrigation was laid. However, the east end of that garden sat fallow for years on end.
Each year in the fall, King County would bring out their tractor and till the entire garden. At that time, gardeners could not build structures or cultivate perennials, unless you wanted to haul it away in the fall before annual turning of the soil. Sometime after the tilling began, comfrey was introduced into the garden. As the years went by, this pernicious plant spread throughout the area, especially in the unused east end of the garden. Rather than covering everything with black plastic, the park came up with the idea to create a Pet Memorial, eliminating much of the comfrey, and reshaping the size of the garden to the present 2.1 acres we enjoy today.
In 2002, King County suffered county-wide budget cuts, with Marymoor Park being no exception. Jack McKinnon long-time gardener (since 1989) describes it this way, “I drove into the garden and noticed a piece of paper attached to the kiosk. It said, “We’re sorry but due to budget cuts the community garden is closing after this season.” He spoke to his friend Michelle Raymond and both had the same idea, “Let’s run it ourselves!” They approached park management and Marymoor Community Garden is now known as the Marymoor Community Gardeners Association or the MCGA! Many gardeners stepped up to fulfill board positions and gave us the base of support that got us started. King County has been key in helping in this process, for which we are forever grateful. We are happy to say that we have been running independently since 2002!
Who will we be?
The future is rich and fertile with opportunity. Our organization strives to help one another grow healthy, organic crops. We provide education on the least toxic methods to cultivate our gardens with guest speakers, informative blog posts and many master gardeners on-site.