Mounds of wood chips illegally dumped in community garden

Mounds of wood chips illegally dumped in community garden

Someone illegally dumped mounds of wood chips onto a local community garden in the Spokane Valley.

The mounds of wood chips block the entrance to the garden at the corner of Marengo and Argonne.

Teresa Sadler has been running the Pumpkin Patch Community Garden for nearly a decade, and loves gardening.

“You take this little dead seed and you stick it in the ground and all of a sudden it’s food,” she said.

The Pumpkin Patch has become a community spot, a place where anyone can garden for just $20 per year. But last weekend, mounds of wood chips were illegally dumped. Both of the entrances to the garden were blocked, but volunteers were able to clear one entrance.

“We have several gardeners who are handicapped and now they can’t get into their gardens,” Sadler said.

Sadler frequently works with local arborists who drop off wood chips throughout the year.

“They’re really good for the garden. We use them to fix the nitrogen and cover our parking lot,” she said.

Sadler says it’s not the illegal dumping that’s upsetting as much as where the chips were left.

“There’s plenty of places on the property that I don’t mind dumping, as long as the trees have not been sprayed. This is an organic garden,” she said.

These gardeners also grow and donate thousands of pounds of fresh produce to local food banks every year. The mounds of wood chips are making access that food difficult.

“I’m sure we’ll get in somehow, but we’ll end up spending half of our time fixing the parking lot instead of doing what we’re supposed to be doing to grow food for hungry people,” Sadler said.

Sadler and volunteers will be working in the garden this Saturday. If you’d like to help out, you can contact her through Facebook, or just show up around 9 a.m. with your tools.