8th Avenue and Emerson Street

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8th Avenue and Emerson Street
Denver, CO, 80218
United States
39° 43' 44.6736" N, 104° 58' 35.094" W
8th Avenue and Emerson Street

The community garden at 8th Avenue and Emerson Street in Denver's Capitol Hill was started in 1977, on a large piece of prime real estate that covered two large house lots. Our water came from the fire hydrant that Denver Water let us use on a flat rate [!]. While we were worrying about whether they were going to install a meter [they kept threatening for years], Mr. Goldman died [he was 93 or something] and his heirs decided to sell the property, and that was the end of the garden. Our leader for many years was the amazing Yvonne Prendergast ~ who passed on in 2007 and who now has a memorial brick at the Denver Botanic Gardens, purchased by garden members. Others who had long and influential tenures as leaders at the garden were Don and Gracie Batt, Debbie Kennedy, and Liz Bliss. Many others contributed mightily over the years, including Brigitta Dupree, Dan Gray, Doug Hadra, Liz Tucci, John Durham, Emilia Kaplan, Lori Jervis, Jim Panzerella, Amy and Grant Van Pelt, Todd Betterman, Jack Conviser, Art Black, Lee Wagner, Neil Sarno, Mike Milbourne, and Cindy Bates. Special thanks to Sean Rice and Amy Haimerl who made retainer walls, a three-section compost pit, and a shed with a light.  As of Summer, 2012, ground has broken on the property for multi-unit housing.I joined the garden in 1995, and in all the years I was there, the last five were the best as far as full occupation of our 41 plots, and for enthusiastic participation. We finally actually had a nice, operational composting system, a shed with a light, and consistent community maintenance. There were several people who had turned their gardens into showplaces, humbling us old timers. For all the years I was a member, I served as the garden-scribe, keeping the rosters, mailing the meeting announcements, and maintaining the maps. Yvonne was the treasurer.

Here is some recent news about the plot of land that was Emerson Community Garden.





great post, Lisa, i absolutely agree with Randel here

I just wish i came across your blog earlier, bookmarking it

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Yvonne Prendergast was my mother-in-law, and I have such great memories of everyone touring the garden after a 4th of July or Labor Day family party.  There was such a varity of plots;  some people went with a pragmatic selection of tomatoes, squash and radishes, while others tried to get fancy with eggplants or exotic flowers. 

I think we need a community garden there more than a high-density apartment building. 

Hi Lisa ~

 Thanks for making that great point about the varied character of people's plots. Each was a unique "thumbprint" of it's caretaker. New members were often pleasantly surprised to discover that not only did we not insist on conformity, but that we encouraged creativity. Apparently there are community gardens that only let you grow edible vegetables [!] and they're militant about it. I like to feed the [endangered] honeybees, so I grew only flowers and herbs. So, since I was a board member, our garden had a sense of play. Much better than the big hole in the ground that's being built in that spot this week. Thanks again!