Our Story

The Ohana Kuleana Community Garden opened its first season in 2013. OK offers both community members and pupils from adjacent Riverview School opportunities to connect with nature, grow their own organic food, and reap the bounty of a perennial food forest from a berm bursting with fruit-bearing trees and shrubs.


Throughout the growing season, OK offers a wide range of educational workshops and hosts weekly workdays to help maintain OK's herb plot, garlic patch and memorial flower garden. One-on-one mentoring matches new gardeners with experienced ones so even novices can enjoy successful production of organic greens and other vegetables. Nothing goes to waste. Weeds and other green debris are stacked on site and over the course of time regenerate into rich compost to fertilize gardeners’ plots, and help their gardens grow.  A worm-composting bin, barrels full of rainfall harvest along with a full irrigation system enable gardeners to grow produce successfully even in our sometimes harsh high-altitude climate. A shelter and small amphitheater on site provide opportunities for small gatherings and learning sessions to help build a sense of community and foster greater organic farming know-how.

Garden Committees

 GROWTH COMMITTEE Integrating Vision and Operations

 

Sets meetings and agenda

Leads meetings

Writes minutes

Maintains guidelines, records and documents

Brings suggestions and requests forward

Communication - gardeners and committees

 MEMBERSHIP

Cultivating Community Gardeners 

 COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Connecting with Community

 

 MAINTENANCE

Overseeing Physical 

Infrastructure

 

 FINANCE

Overseeing Finances

 

 MENTORING

Gardening Support and Education

 

Manage registration: track memberships, work hours, and waiting list

Plan potlucks

Communicate and reach out

Mediate w/ gardeners

Follow up w/ volunteer 

requirements

Field phone/email inquires and feedback.

Plan social events

Mediate w/ neighbors and community

Manage formal donations

Plan outreach events

Develop partnerships

Check weed control

Oversee vermiculture 

and compost-making

Organize workdays

Maintain irrigation system, tools, signage, fences, paths, gates

Track produce weights: print logs, enter on spreadsheet, encourage participation

Moniter these areas: GREEN BINS, BROWN STUFF, BIG STUFF, Fall leaf drop off

Garden Committees

Sets meetings and agenda

Leads meetings

Writes minutes

Maintains guidelines, records and documents

Brings suggestions and requests forward

Communicates with gardeners and
committees

 GROWTH COMMITTEE Integrating Vision and Operations

 

 MEMBERSHIP

Cultivating Community Gardeners 

 COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Connecting with Community

 

 MAINTENANCE

Overseeing Physical 

Infrastructure

 

 FINANCE

Overseeing Finances

 

 MENTORING

Providing Support and Education

 

Manage registration: track memberships, work hours, and waiting list

Plan potlucks

Communicate and reach out

Mediate w/ gardeners

Follow up w/ volunteer 

requirements

Field phone/email inquires and feedback.

Plan social events

Mediate w/ neighbors and community

Manage formal donations

Plan outreach events

Develop partnerships

Check weed control

Oversee vermiculture 

and compost-making

Organize workdays

Maintain irrigation system, tools, signage, fences, paths, gates

Track produce weights: print logs, enter on spreadsheet, encourage participation

Moniter these areas: GREEN BINS, BROWN STUFF, BIG STUFF, Fall leaf drop off

Fundraise w/ Community Outreach

Collect plot fees/pay bills

Facilitate expense reimbursement process

Maintain financial records

Prepare monthly finance reports

Determine gardener's needs/ideas/strengths

Train/advise/

demonstrate/

coordinate/plan classes

Coordinate workshops/days: identify tasks; designate leaders, build community

Organize berm teaming

Educate gardeners

History

Ohana Kuleana Community Garden broke ground in 2013.  It sits on a slice of land over an acre in size below the rim of Riverview Elementary School at the intersection of East 30th Street and 6th Avenue, Durango.  OK has 45 garden parcels:  six of them are cultivated by schoolchildren under the guidance of their science teacher; the rest are assigned to community members who pay annual plot fees to help underwrite OK garden expenses.


The OK garden is part of a much larger parcel of land acquired by La Plata County from a private party back in 1939, and then deeded to the 9R School District in 1955 with a deed restriction that said the land was to be used for “playgrounds and public recreation.”

Apparently unaware of the proscription against development of the property, the school district subdivided the property into lots for homes to be built by students in the Building Trades program then operating at Durango High School from 1974 to 1985. Several homes along Riverview Drive were built before the deed restriction came to light.

For the homes that were already built, the county permitted the sales to proceed, but in a 1982 letter from county attorney David Dickinson, the county said “it is firm in its opinion that the remainder of the property should be retained for the uses originally contemplated.”

Regardless, while the rest of the parcel was not developed, the plat lines for three single-family lots remain on the books, and in 2001 a non-profit development group eyed the property for multi-family affordable housing.  Eventually, in 2002, the school district conceded it had not conformed to the requirements of the deed restriction, and deeded the property back to the county.  The county then tried to sell the property a couple of times without success.

Neighbors and others aware of the history of the parcel, and the recreational uses for which it was intended, suggested the parcel be used for a community garden. Eventually, former County Commissioner Bob Lieb leased the property from the county to develop it into a community garden with an option to purchase at the end of 10 years. The purchase option expires Dec. 31, 2020.

Volunteer.jpg
3PMap.jpg