By Monica Wooton
Magnolia’s first P-patch at Magnolia Manor Park opened in bright sun and warm weather Sunday after the unexpected pounding of a hail storm Saturday and iffy weather reports. Lots of the City’s luminaries came to applaud the preliminary work that has turned a blank slate into a modern tool shed, 45 plots, a community herb garden and berry patch. Sally Clark, City Council President, Christopher Williams Acting Superintendent of Parks, Bernie Matsuno, Director of Department of Neighborhoods all spoke to a crowd of over 75.
The real stars of the show were those who actually made it all happen, Magnolia residents who for almost 3 years planned for the establishment of a new Park Design, the first Off Leash Area and now the P-Patch. Sharon Knoll, fundraiser for and the Volunteer Coordinator of the P-Patch summed it up in her speech: “This is a salute to the power and joy of community. You can [now] see the shed and the retaining walls and the paths and the plots and the tools and the wheelbarrows…what you can’t see is the 1400 volunteers hours since January, the 145 tons of material moved, think 24 adult male elephants 12,000 pounds each…and, our motto: we can make this work. Since January, all this was accomplished without a formal meeting which is an accomplishment in itself. When a decision or choice needed to be made it was made right here, in the moment, at the work party that happened to be there that day.” These decisions included finding roads under plots and re-routing the water system, making French drains to divert standing water, and pushing forward to get the fences moved so more plots could be put in now rather than later.
Neighbor Alvin “Bubba” Hendricks who overlooks the patches from his home of 41 year’s welcomed his new neighbors saying, “We will be happy seeing you doing your own thing out there in the P-Patch” and led the crowd in a rendition of “Side by Side” setting the tone for a long relationship with the existing neighborhood as they welcomed the new P-Patch amongst them.
Click here or visit www.facebook.com/friendsofmagnoliamanorpark to follow the progress of the garden or donate to the cause throughout the summer. If you’re interested in earning a patch and joining this gardening community call Sandy Pernitz at 206-684-0284.