OBERLIN — Zion Community Development Corporation said it will help Legion Field Garden gardeners find a new home, after its recent announcement that it could no longer operate the garden.
City Manager Rob Hillard said he had received a letter from Michael Sabiers, president of the Board of Directors for Zion CDC, on Feb. 25, stating that due to “challenges within the organization” it couldn’t continue supporting the garden.
Zion CDC had hoped to donate the equipment and materials at the garden, including a greenhouse, to the city, but City Council rejected the offer Monday.
The community garden at Legion Field Park off Hamilton Street has been operating since 2010. The city owns the property and provided the land at no cost to Zion CDC. Dozens of individual soil beds were available for people to use in the community garden. Under the agreement, Zion CDC could charge a fee to use individual plots or open gardening areas.
Sabiers said he was disappointed that the city wouldn’t continue supporting of the community garden.
“We had hope the city would take it over — but Zion, we’re not in the position to support it in the way we’d like to,” he said.
Sabiers said Zion CDC completed its goal of building a house in the south east part of Oberlin for people in need in late 2018. After completing the goal, he said, it needed to find a new direction, which will be announced this year.
It still intends to be in Oberlin, but change its direction in some way. Additionally, he said the corporation just doesn’t have the funds for the garden as it did in the past.
“We think that Legion Field Garden has been an excellent part of the city,” Sabiers said. “We believed that it was not in the direction of where we were going.”
He said that Zion CDC hopes to work with the gardeners to find the garden find a new home. The city has no plans to do anything with the garden property at this time.
Contact Bruce Walton at 329-7123 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook @BWalton440 or Twitter @BruceWalton.