Office of Public Affairs
CONTACT: Richard Horan, 312-4903
July 15, 2003
COMMUNITY GARDEN TAKING ROOT AT FALLBROOK
OSWEGO -- Seeded by a vision, a team effort and a grant, a
community garden has taken root at the Fallbrook Recreation Center on
the SUNY Oswego campus.
The project was the brainchild of Richard Horan, who
joined the college in 2002 as a writing specialist for the Office of
Learning Services. While he was attending graduate school, Horan said
his wife "was missing the fact that we couldn't garden in Pittsburgh"
until they discovered and participated in a community garden there.
When he came to Oswego, he saw a need here.
He found that the concept had been discussed before
but never enacted. He applied for, and received, a $500 grant through
Rice Creek Associates, and biology Professor Peter Rosenbaum was one of
many people affiliated with Rice Creek who offered encouragement.
SUNY Oswego administrators and community groups also
backed the project. "A lot of people thought it was a good idea, and it
apparently came around at the right time," Horan said.
A local farmer, Greg Cooper, provided major labor
support by preparing and tilling ground provided by Auxiliary Services
on the other side of Thompson Road from the Fallbrook barn.
While the effort converged in June, fairly late in
the planting season, crops that include heritage corn, tobacco and
squash are growing already.
"A lot of people will wait until next year" to plant, Horan
said. "We really expect the project to begin in earnest next year."
One key part of the project is to make the whole
community welcome to plant, since not everyone has space for a garden.
People who want to use the garden are "not going to need a lot of money
to get started," Horan stressed. "The hardest part has been done."
Another thrust is to work with senior groups like
the Retired Senior Volunteer Program or those serving the disabled,
like ARISE and Oswego Industries, who all voiced early support for the
project. Horan said there is always a need for outdoor activities for
the disabled "and something like this would be wonderful for that
The addition of fencing and a storage shed for tools
are on the wish list for the community garden if more donations can be
secured. Those seeking more information on the garden or interested in
donating to help enhance the project may contact Horan at 312-4903 or
in Room 202B of Swetman Hall at SUNY Oswego.
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