Tiger Talk: Pine River Community Garden renovations underway

2022 planting season will unveil an improved garden space.

Pine River-Backus Schools Tiger Talk

This fall has brought us much needed rain, cool evening air and all the amazing colors of the season.

Fall is a wonderful time of year for many reasons, including harvest time for some of our favorite fruits and vegetables. Typically I think of fresh squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and crisp apples and the comforting meals and treats they provide.

The Pine River Community Garden has been undergoing its own transformation with the changing season. The garden is being renovated and revitalized with the help of many volunteers, organizations, hard work and goodwill.

While the community garden has always been a great resource for our community, after COVID-19 and this year's drought it was in great need of some TLC. A dedicated group of volunteers has met, planned and dug in to do just that.

The redesigned garden will allow for better use of space with 49 ground-level plots (15 feet by 15 feet), multiple raised beds of various sizes, a fruit orchard and easy access to water throughout the garden.


The renter will have an option of no-till plots covered with cardboard and mulch or open plots with tilling available. Volunteers have worked hard to strip away wild grass and weeds that started to overrun some plots. About 120 yards of new rich soil has been added, and we are in the process of leveling and redistributing soil throughout the garden.

The dirt and vegetation that was removed will be mixed with manure, mulch and straw to start several balanced compost piles to be reused in the garden. Plans and work for a water system to be added around the garden are currently underway.

The renovated garden will have wood chip and mulch pathways, multiple water spigots, rich soil, access to gardening tools, soil amenities, a hoop house, a school plot and a locked fence for security.

We want to provide healthy solutions through quality gardening experiences for all residents of our area. Our goal is for the Pine River Community Garden to be a healthy, low-cost option for our residents. We plan to be fully functional and ready for gardeners by early spring.

Community gardens provide many benefits physically, mentally and socially. Community gardening provides a great way to learn new skills, meet new people, get some exercise and reinforce healthy eating habits.

So if you are dreaming of having a garden space but do not have the room or the tools to get started, give the newly renovated Pine River Community Garden a try. If you are interested in helping out at the garden this fall or next spring, call Pine River-Backus Community Education at 218-587-2080.

A big thank you to all the volunteers and contributors who have worked so hard and donated so much to help renovate the Pine River Community Garden.

More opportunities


PR-B Community Education and PR-B Schools work in partnerships between the school, businesses and community organizations. This collaboration creates unlimited possibilities and keeps businesses and organizations connected with our youth, staff and facilities.

Partnerships enrich our community and enhance our lives. Both our community and school benefit from the involvement of parents, community members, businesses, organizations, senior citizens, students or other individuals who give their time and experience to support community education.

We are always looking for instructors, coaches and advisory council members. This is your opportunity to make a difference in our community. If you are interested in teaching, volunteering or serving on the council, contact PR-B Community Ed at 218-587-2080 for more information.

Troy Gregory is Pine River-Backus Community Education director.

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