Cortez Recreation Center Garden
We are an all-volunteer group that came together in 2017 to revitalize a small garden outside the Cortez Recreation Center. The garden was originally a site for the Montezuma School to Farm Project to provide activities for children attending programs at the Rec Center. Over 20 volunteers from as far as Pagosa Springs and Farmington helped with the initial cleanup of the 7 raised beds, forming the beginning of the Common Ground efforts to grow community gardens in Cortez.
The original garden now comprises our demonstration garden, which is a showcase for intensive gardening ideas and season extension. A small group of volunteers tend to the plots, host workshops for the community, provide plant starts for gardeners, and donate 100% of the produce to the Good Samaritan Center Food Pantry.
The site was expanded in 2018 to include 18 community garden plots of various sizes available for residents of Montezuma County to rent for the season. Gardeners tend to the common areas, lead workshops and often share their harvests with the food pantry. They gather several times each season to discuss budget, purchases, watering, fundraising, and issues related to management of the garden.
Garden Plots for the 2023 growing season
Plots are available to all Montezuma County residents. A membership at the Recreation Center is not required to become a community gardener.
Plots are assigned on a first-come-first-served basis. Those who do not receive a plot will be placed on a waiting list and contacted if a plot becomes available during the season.
We encourage anyone who does not receive a plot for this season to sign up on our volunteer list. You'll be able to participate in workdays while sharing in the harvest of extra produce, and you'll have the opportunity to attend workshops, potlucks, fundraisers, and garden events throughout the season.
All gardeners are required to complete two hours of volunteer work a month that benefits the garden as a whole. These hours can include weeding or watering common areas, caring for perennials in the border, composting, improving infrastructure, cleaning tools, helping with events, etc.
Gardeners and volunteers also have the opportunity to create and join committees that work on special projects or efforts to support the garden organization that are important to them. Committees such as the Children's Garden Program, Demonstration Garden, Events, etc. are active in 2021.
All produce harvested from the Demonstration Garden is shared with The Good Samaritan Center Food Pantry. Gardeners are encouraged to share some of their harvest or their excess produce with the food pantry as well.
The garden is a group effort. Decisions are discussed during meetings and workdays, and gardener input and initiative is encouraged!
Individual plots are approximately 64 square feet and cost $7 per season.
Family plots are approximately 144 square feet and cost $15 per season.
Soil, water and tools are provided at no cost.
We will have a Gardener Seed Swap in the spring with a seed-starting workshop.
The community garden is located outside the Cortez Recreation Center on the southwest corner in Parque de Vida, 425 Roger Smith Avenue. The garden is open to the public—a membership at the Recreation Center is not required to visit or participate.