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Community garden planned for Hawley

By SONIA OWCHARIW
March 21, 2012

Kyle Hannel would like to build a community garden in Riverside Park. And to move forward with his intention, Hannel, a student at Lackawanna College Lake Region Center, approached the Hawley Borough Council on March 14. He said he is working on the project with his friend, Sean Brown, also of Hawley.

Laying out the plan and the garden, Hannel said the garden would contain 15 plots that would be 75 by 75 feet. He suggested that interested gardeners would pay a $25 fee to rent the plot and pay a $25 refundable deposit when the plot is cleaned up at the end of the season. He said a community garden would be useful because many residents have small lawns with no room for a garden.

Planning to give back to the community, Hannel said proceeds will be donated to Hawley.

The plan would need approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), since the area is a protected flood plain. If approved, Hannel would like to see senior citizens involved. He said businesses could be encouraged to participate by sponsoring planters that would show the name of their business.

Hannel has discussed the proposition with the Hawley Parks & Recreation Committee, and both that group and the Hawley Borough Council expressed support for the concept.

Hannel, who is pursuing a degree in ecological sustainability, said that eco-friendly materials could be used at the garden so as not to contaminate the nearby water and protect the environment.

Also at the meeting, the board said that Hannel could move forward with another initiative, a clean-up day in Bingham Park to be held on May 19.

Hannel is a lifelong resident of Hawley and lives in Hemlock Farms. He graduated from Wallenpaupack High School in 2010.