Community garden will open on Earth Day

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NORWAY — The Oxford Hills community will celebrate Earth Day in downtown Norway on Sunday, April 25, with festivals, concerts and gardens. Beginning at 9 a.m., volunteers at the Alan Day Community Garden will work on the land and invite anyone who is interested to join them. At 11:30 a.m., a blessing ceremony will celebrate a new sign and officially begin the 2010 gardening season.

The garden is located on a three-acre parcel on Whitman Street. The land was owned by artist and community leader Alan Day (1954-2008) and is currently owned by Day’s daughters, Emma and Ruby DayBranch, and their mother, Katey Branch.

Day envisioned the land as a community garden, and that vision is becoming a reality. Over the winter, volunteers met monthly to write a mission statement, incorporate as a nonprofit organization, learn about the principles of permaculture and design short and long-term plans for raised beds, catching water, composting and a gathering space. There is also a large barn on the property.

The group chose a logo from dozens submitted by the graphic arts class at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. Senior Megan Anthony initiated the logo design which was finalized with the help of Zizi Vlaun of Moose Pond Arts + Ecology. The logo will be used for signage, merchandise, marketing and a kiosk that will eventually inform visitors about the endeavor.

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Earth Day activities will include scything, moving rocks and fill, cutting brush and limbs, setting up a new water catchment system, building new raised beds and cleaning part of the small stream that flows through the land. Participants should bring work gloves, wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes, chain saws and any ideas for a community garden.

For more information, contact Ken Morse, Healthy Oxford Hills, 739-6222 or e-mail Seal Rossignol at sealrossignol@hotmail.com.

A website at alandaygarden.wordpress.com explains the project and offers photographs and information about five work groups.

Tours of the garden will be available all day as part of the Earth Day celebration behind Fare Share Market, from noon until 4 p.m.

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