West Park 

Project Grow's West Park garden was created when the park was fully refurbished in 2011.  The West Park Garden consists of 18 half-sized plots and is located at the east end of West Park and accessed from the parking lot off of Chapin Street.

The property is loaned to Project Grow by Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation.

MAP OF GARDEN: West Park Map

SITE COORDINATORS:  Rachid Seklaoui (rachidphilip@gmail.com), Rebecca Gatward (gatwar@umich.edu) and Jeff Walls (jwalls9@gmail.com)

SOIL:  Most of the garden is on top of an old gravel parking lot  and the soil is stony and compacted.  About 100 yards of soil and compost were added to the garden in the first few years.

The gardeners with the most success at West Park build raised beds and continue to add compost and remove rocks.

INDIVIDUAL PLOT MAINTENANCE: All gardeners are responsible for keeping weeds down in their plots and along the adjacent pathways. Various mulches may be used in a garden to inhibit weed growth, conserve water, and promote a hospitable micro-climate for plants and worms. Any non-organic mulch (black plastic, etc.) should be covered with an organic mulch.

GARDEN MAINTENANCE: To achieve a garden site that fits well into the existing park surroundings, efforts are to be made to achieve an aesthetically pleasing garden site.  Please help make the gardens beautiful this summer by maintaining your own plot and keeping the gardens free from debris, etc.

WATER:  Water is delivered by a water line, installed by Project Grow, connected to the same water source as the nearby drinking fountain. Please try to conserve it by mulching well and watering only when necessary.

Watering of gardens is never to be unattended; hose timers are prohibited.

COMPOSTING:  Any organic waste generated during the growing season may be tilled into the soil, or taken home for composting by the city.  However, diseased plants should always be removed from the site, to minimize the presence of pathogens in the gardens. 

Please do not create renegade compost piles anywhere outside of your garden plot and do not discard of any organic or inorganic material in the woods.

HAY, WOODCHIPS, TOPSOIL or COMPOST:  Any materials brought or delivered to the site should be spread on the garden plots within a reasonable amount of time. Marsh hay is usually available in the spring, delivered to the garden from a local grower for a reasonable fee. If interested in learning more about marsh hay deliveries or for more information about mulching, contact your site coordinator or the Project Grow office.

TOOLS:  A limited number of tools will be supplied at this site. Gardeners will want to bring their own small hand tools. Currently this site has no tool storage.

DISPOSAL of TRASH:  Gardeners are responsible for removing trash from the site.

ROCKS: Gardeners should place rocks on the designated on-site rock pile.  This is especially important at this site because rocks left anywhere in the plot will be tilled back into it in the fall. 

ABANDONED PLOTS:  Plots that have not been seriously worked by June 1st or are overgrown with weeds taller than 18” at any point in the season, will be considered abandoned and will be reassigned or solarized. Contact your site coordinator or the Project Grow office if you are having problems getting started or if you need to abandon your plot.

COMMUNICATION:  Expect a few e-mails asking you to help out with volunteer tasks. If you have not already notified us of your email address, let us know right away! Finally, e-newsletters will also contain important information about upcoming projects and events.

FALL CLEAN UP:  Gardeners will clear their plots no later than day's end on the third Saturday in October. Organic material may be chopped up and spread evenly across your plot, to be plowed under in the fall. Take home all non-organic material, such as fences, stakes, plastic, or paper, as well as any diseased plants.  The goal is to have a site that is clear of any evidence of gardening, except for the tilled area.  Failure to clean up your plot according to the guidelines set forth in the Member Handbook may result in expulsion from the garden.

Gardener Comments and Suggestions

  • This situation is perhaps unique to me and interesting to note! I didn't suspect that gardening at the west park gardens would be as interactive with the basketball players as it was. Some interactions were very positive. In general West Park is very visible and a thruway for pedestrians on the west side.
  • That they will have to augment the soil before planting.