How it began
Three years ago a community conversation was held to discuss the food priorities of the Thurston Community. The top two needs were determined to be more resources in the area for low-income residents, and a community garden. In the summer of 2017, with the help of Catholic Community Services, Food For Lane County, Waypoint Church, The Oregon Food Bank and Thurston High School, CCS agreed to support a satellite site; and the Thurston Community Pantry was launched.
Each month, on the 3rd Saturday of the month, a rag-tag group of volunteers shows up to set up and run the pantry held at Waypoint Church. A smaller group makes sure all of the regulations are followed, and visions new ways to reach more people.
Last fall, the Thurston Pantry Committee was awarded a nearly $30,000 grant from Weyerhaeuser to develop a community garden. Willamalane partnered by providing a plot at Lively Park, north of the dog park area.
A small planning committee and group of dedicated volunteers has developed a site plan, and begun developing the site, with the goal of having plots ready to lease in January of 2020!
It is the goal of the Thurston Community Gardens to serve our community by providing a place for residents to grow nutritious, healthy food, increase self-sufficiency and build a sense of community. We are deeply committed to community pride and unity, a desire to create a space where neighbors meet and share a common interest in gardening, learn from each other and provide healthy food to those in our community most in need. We honor diverse abilities, ages, and cultures. All gardeners are welcome!
The Garden is meant for all members of our community. Plots will be leased on a seasonal basis, to families of all income levels on a sliding fee scale. The largest plot in the Garden is reserved for the pantry, who's harvest will go to feed those in need.