Rumblings | A Community Garden in Menomonie

needs council approval before fundraising

Katie Venit

Menomonites are working to add an organic community garden to the growing number of such projects in the Chippewa Valley. Project leaders Jessica Padellford and Jake Vennie-Vollrath hope to establish the garden on a two-acre plot of land next to Phalen Park. Close to bathrooms and play areas, the location is within walking and biking distance to housing. For the moment, they’re waiting for the city council to approve their request for land (they’ll decide on March 15), after which they can start the hard work of raising funds through grants and donors. As with any community garden, there would be rules: gardeners would have to leave their pesticides and pets at home, but they’d be encouraged to bring their compost and their children. In fact, education is a large part of this garden’s mission. “I think it is important to know where food comes from and how it was grown. Furthermore, I think having a system where we can educate people, especially children, about food and the environment is equally important. Having a community garden allows for the people of Menomonie to work together, grow healthy food and live better lives,” Padellford said. During these planning stages, they need help writing grants and presenting the garden to various groups of people. Later there will be opportunities to get your hands dirty with construction and advertising. To help, e-mail

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