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Oh! How does our garden grow

The swath of soil situated on 2.27 acres of City of Dallas land was sectioned into a grid of plots. Municipal leaders agreed to let Lake Highlands resident and Dallas master gardener A.L. Nickerson turn part of the former Texas National Guard Armory training ground on Goforth Drive into the first city-sponsored community garden, where residents would procure squares of earth to harvest, or learn to grow, organic vegetables.

Nickerson had the idea long before it materialized in 2008, but he was unsure the concept would take root in our neighborhood.

It did. Local individuals and families registered for existing spaces, and then Nickerson and his crew created a waiting list, which promptly filled with future gardeners. April marks its 10-year birthday, and there is plenty to celebrate.

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Today, the property, once easily overlooked, is a flora-flooded common that includes a bee sanctuary, herb garden, a rain garden of native Texas plants, a demonstration garden and a butterfly garden.

The largest parcel of dirt is dedicated to the donation garden, a 2,000-square-foot space for reaping organic produce donated to organizations that feed Dallas’ hungry residents. Volunteers — plot holders as well as other community members — maintain this portion, gardener Robert Gross has told the Advocate. The donation garden serves not only as a place for volunteers to learn more about gardening, but also as a source of food, augmenting efforts of many local charity organizations.

The Community Gardens of Lake Highlands, as new signage reads, plans to venerate its anniversary with a bountiful butterfly release April 8. “Could be the biggest green celebration in Dallas history,” organizers say.

For more information, visit lhgarden.org.