The seeds for a community garden in San Carlos — namely, the desire for such a public space — may be in place but actually finding a suitable and available space could determine if the idea actually takes root.
“We really need a vacant lot somewhere but no one knows where that might be,” said former mayor Tom Davids who is also president of the Civic Garden Club of San Carlos.
Davids said the suggestion of a community garden goes way back, maybe 15 to 20 years, but that backers could never pin down a satisfactory spot.
“I’m not sure there is such a space but we’ll see if we can carve out an area,” Davids said.
The city’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission will take up the idea at its Wednesday night meeting. The commission will try to zero in on a potential location with details like size and costs worked out later, said Parks and Recreation Director Christine Boland.
Boland ballparked about $5,000 just to put a number in the budget with plans to seek community donations after a location is set.
Both Boland and Davids think the city of San Carlos would embrace the idea of a community garden. Those who live in apartments and condominiums could particularly support the idea, Boland said.
Such a garden would be a place to grow community — along with what is actually planted in the ground — and appeal to both those with an existing green thumb and those who would like to learn, Davids said.
He’d also like to make the community garden part of the garden club’s agenda and responsibility.
But first up is finding the place to make that happen.
The best possibility would be vacant public land, perhaps adjacent to a park or in the railroad right-of-way, because it would be better suited for a long-term commitment in comparison to a private lot whose owners may favor other uses in the future, Davids said.
Actual size remains up in the air — largely dependent upon availability — but Davids would like to see a dozen or so plots to encourage greater community participation.
“Whatever works, works,” he said.
If San Carlos is successful, the garden will be in good company. San Mateo County has 15 community gardens and more than 50 percent of the county’s public schools also have gardens, according to Get Healthy San Mateo County.
The San Carlos Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission meets 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 at City Hall, 600 Elm St., San Carlos.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102