Community garden registration open for Sterling Township residents

Produce grown in Sterling's community garden in 2023. Plots for this year's community garden soon can be claimed.

STERLING — Sterling Township residents without the space to plant a garden at home will get the chance to have one anyway.

Sterling Township, the University of Illinois Extension, Whiteside County Master Gardeners, Sterling Gardens and CGH Health Foundation are coordinating to offer township residents space to participate in a community garden for the second year in a row.

“We recognize many people may not have grass or anywhere to have gardens,” Sterling Township Supervisor Angie Schneider said. “The Master Gardeners are available to help and teach all about gardening for anyone who doesn’t really know what to do.”

Each garden plot will be tilled for its user, but the user will be responsible for getting their own plants, watering – which will be available on site – weeding, harvesting and otherwise maintaining the plot, she said. Whatever produce is grown, the user gets to keep, Schneider said.

Produce grown in Sterling's community garden in 2023. Plots for this year's community garden soon can be claimed.

The plots – each of which were 40 square feet last year – will be at the Sterling Township’s building, located at 505 W. Lynn Blvd.

“We made them kind of small last year, but we had several gardeners that took more than one spot,” Schneider said. “We have a lot of land here, so [the size of plots] really just depends on how many people want to participate.”

They aren’t sure exactly how big each plot will be this year, but gardeners will be limited to two plots if there are extras available, she said.

Groceries are expensive, so being able to grow ones food is a boon, Schneider said. Another benefit of participating is the chance to learn from Master Gardeners, she added.

“They have so much knowledge to share,” Schneider said.

Produce grown in Sterling's community garden in 2023. Plots for this year's community garden soon can be claimed.

Participants will be able to use their gardens from early or mid-May through Nov. 1, she said. There is no cost to rent a garden plot this year.

The community garden space will be restricted to those who have registered and signed an agreement and waiver, Schneider noted. An informational meeting will be held in April, she said.

If interested in signing up for a plot, or to ask questions, contact Schneider at 815-625-3990 or supervisor@sterlingtownship.com.

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner reports on Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties for Shaw Media out of the Dixon office. Previously, she worked for the Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Michigan, and the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.