A reprieve has been received by the controversial community garden.
City direction was directed by the Fort Collins City Council to delay plans for removing the vegetable garden.
“City council has received a tremendous amount of feedback regarding the garden both pro and con,” said Deputy City Manager Jeff Mihelich within an email statement. “With this in your mind, the city will likely be seeking the services of a mediator using the hopes of creating a compromise between the groups.
“The garden will stay in place before the mediation process takes place.”
Particulars of the mediation procedure will soon be published in the coming weeks, Mihelich said.
Supporters of the garden southeast of Fort Collins High School mustered after Mihelich last week announced the garden could be removed.
Garden patrons established an on-line petition calling for it to be saved and held a rally at the site. The request had more than 250 assistants as Tuesday. Gillian Bliss, community gardener and a park neighbor, said the town ‘s decision pleased her.
“I’m truly expecting that we are able to reach a compromise which is satisfactory to all,” Bliss stated in a email to the Coloradoan.
The decision to remove the garden came after adversaries and city officials of the garden can barely reach a compromise on whether to take out it or relocate it elsewhere.
Critics lobbied city officials for months to have it removed, protesting the lack of play space for children and asserting the garden was an eyesore.
In September, garden opponents presented a petition calling for the removal that 220 local residents signed of the garden to city direction.
Garden supporters were not aware discussions about the garden’s fate were going on. Following community meetings last summer, city officials said the garden would stay over the protests of its critics.
The 3,700-square-foot garden in on the east side of English Ranch Park near Kingsley Drive. The garden, which has 13 plots, was installed last spring as part of the city’s community gardening program.
One of the plots is used by Linton Elementary School, which borders the park.
Four city parks have community gardens. The Gardens on Spring Creek, the city-operated botanical center, also has a community garden.
A large community garden is planned for Southeast Community Park, which is expected to open in about three years near the intersection of Kechter and Ziegler roads.