Nothing is easy in Westport.
Dogs on the beach: Controversy!
Lights on athletic fields: Brouhaha!
And introducing now: The Community Gardens War!
Tomorrow night (Monday), Garden members present a proposal to the Parks & Recreation Commission. The plan: expand the site, adjacent to Long Lots School.
Opposition is expected. Some Long Lots parents worry about safety. (Not from an errant hoe; more like garden-variety sex offenders. Ho ho.)
Though unauthorized people are not allowed on school property when school is in session, the rule is somewhat relaxed for Community Gardeners: If they want to till their plots during school hours, they must get a special Parks & Rec pass. (After, of course, passing a background check.)
Most gardeners wait until school is out — and prime gardening season is summer, anyway — but what the hay hey.
Other concerns involve competition for parking spots at the site (gardeners vs. teachers and parents). There are very few gardeners during the day (see above), so even with the expansion that might not be a major issue.
It could be worse: Can you imagine the battles between spade-wielding Subaru drivers and iPhone-texting seniors and juniors if the Community Gardens were at Staples?
Some people object to the aesthetics of the garden itself. It was built by the gardeners themselves. It is not a designer-garden, as in many Westport backyards.
But again, things could be worse. This is a garden, people — not the Quonset hut squatting a quarter mile away off North Maple.
The action begins at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall. Let’s hope it stays civil. The last thing we need is one side throwing tomatoes at the other.
Hope Westporters will come out tonight to share their opinions. To me, this Community Garden is such an asset in town, and the waiting list shows how valuable it is to seniors, young families, single parents, students. The gardeners have been good neighbors of wonderful Long Lots school, and the parents I’ve spoken to have been so positive about it. But I hope people will come out and talk about how an expanded garden (beautifully laid out) can work.