Parkrose community garden planted

Volunteers working with Senn’s Dairy Park in Parkrose didn’t give up on their dream to starting a community garden. Learn more about the first community garden in the neighborhood, right here‚

A little rain‚ actually a steady downpour‚ didn’t stop Barbara Nizich from planting her plot.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Hard to believe that just a couple of weeks ago, outer East Portland was drenched in a series of rainstorms. But that moisture, followed with lots of sun, has helped crops grow well at the new Community Garden at Senn’s Dairy Park in Parkrose.

Life-long connection to the location
Barbara Nizich was planting her crop when we visited. “I’m planting mostly vegetables. Peas, beans, beats, korabi, tomatoes and a couple of winter squash,” she told us.

Nizich said she decided to try a plot in a community garden because where she lives, in the City of Maywood Park, the tree canopy is too dense to grow a garden.

“What is making this especially fun for me,” Nizich continued,  “is, as a teenager, one of the first places I got to drive the family car was here to Senn’s Dairy, to get milk for the family. Now, here I am, tending my garden.”

On the Community Garden’s opening day, the park also offered crafts for kids. Here, Amy and Kyran Salvador are making birdhouses.

Park nears completion
Parkrose Neighborhood Association Chair Marcy Emerson-Peters stopped by to check on the new garden’s progress. “Isn’t it great? Even in the rain, people are coming here to plant their gardens.”

Emerson-Peters said each feature added to the park draws more attention to it. “Completion for our park, playground and all, is scheduled by the end of the year. This is exciting.”

Liza Judge and Leslie Pohl-Kosbau — Community Parks Director for Portland Parks & Recreation — help new Parkrose gardeners get started, at the new Senn’s Dairy Park location.

Garden plots for all
“In addition to tilled garden beds, this garden features raised beds designed and built for people with mobility and disability issues,” said Leslie Pohl-Kosbau, community parks director Portland Parks & Recreation.

Pohl-Kosbau said the garden offers a total of 26 plots. “We’re also installing a shed and picnic table for the gardeners. The area is also fenced to help protect the garden.”

A garden plot costs $45 per season, with a $10 deposit. “People can garden all year; the next cycle starts in Feburary,” said Pohl-Kosbau.

For more information regarding community gardens – anywhere in East Portland – call (503) 823-1612 or E-mail at

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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