The plans call for a 60-by-100-foot space behind City Hall to be converted into about 60 plots, which will be free for residents' use.
But it will take some initial resident interest to get the project in the ground.
Reservations are now being accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. If not enough residents sign up for a free plot, the proposal may be tilled under.
“We think we have all the information we need, and staff can start getting the site ready this fall — hopefully for planting in the spring,” City Manager Craig Bessinger said. “But we want to make sure we get enough reservations before we put out money to put in a community garden. If there are only three or four people, I'm not sure there would be enough interest in City Council moving forward with it.”
Residents may request a 4-by-8-foot traditional plot or a raised bed. Traditional plots tend to hold water better, but raised beds are easier to tend to, especially for those with physical limitations.
Councilwoman Rebecca Hopp said it's important the garden spots are accessible for everyone. She suggested that city staff research possible grants for the project.
“I want to make sure that gets addressed,” Hopp said. “It should be universally accessible for all. With the aging population we have, raised plots make it easier for everyone.”
City Council agreed to spend up to $7,500 for a fence to surround the area to keep animals from consuming the crops. The city will also provide water to the site and topsoil as needed.
Residents will be responsible for bringing their own gardening tools and supplies.
Councilman Mike DeWitt brought up the garden plot idea in May after seeing a community garden behind The Salvation Army in Grand Haven.
“I thought, 'What a great idea,'" he said. “With the empty property we have out here, we could put something out there.”
For information or to reserve a plot, call 842-5803. The program is open only to Ferrysburg residents.