A new community garden is coming to Lathrup Village that allows residents to rent out plant boxes and learn how to garden. The grand opening is set for 6 p.m. July 26.

A new community garden is coming to Lathrup Village that allows residents to rent out plant boxes and learn how to garden. The grand opening is set for 6 p.m. July 26.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Lathrup Village set to open Community Garden

By: Jacob Herbert | Southfield Sun | Published July 17, 2021


LATHRUP VILLAGE — The past year has kept people from interacting with others face to face, and Lathrup Village is looking to change that while teaching people about gardening.

The Villagers’ Pride and Produce Community Garden is new to Lathrup Village this year, and those involved with the garden say it’s off to a great start.

“We’re beyond excited,” said garden board President Sandra Gross. “It’s the culmination of the dreams of so many Lathrup Village residents.”

A group of residents who were interested in the idea worked closely with the Parks and Recreation Department over the past year to make the garden possible. They say they wanted to create a garden due to the mature trees and abundant wildlife that can make backyard gardening challenging. The garden is also a great way for those who lack the time and ability to create a garden at home.

“The community garden is a great way for people to make connections and learn new skills,” said Lathrup Village resident Elaine Mantinan. “The garden adds beauty to the community. What was once an empty field is now a beautiful and vibrant space. In addition, a portion of the produce from the three co-op garden beds will be donated to those in need.”

The garden consists of a fence built by volunteers to protect the garden from local wildlife. Volunteers also constructed raised beds and filled them with organic soil, and installed mulch on the Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant pathways. The garden is equipped with 20 raised beds that are rented out annually, and three other raised beds that are reserved for cooperative usage that are looked after by volunteers who will donate part of the harvest and share the rest. All garden beds are currently rented out for the 2021 season.

“It’s bringing people together,” Gross said. “Which I think was really helpful after being locked inside for a year. We’ve been sharing plants. I hope we’ll be sharing recipes once we start harvesting our vegetables. Fellow gardeners have told me they plan to donate some of their own harvest as well. I see people bringing their children when they’re working on their plot. It’s great that our garden could have a hand in future generations wanting to grow their own food.”

Mantanin said the garden already hosted events prior to its grand opening. There was an Earth Day event at which local children decorated flowerpots to plant sunflower seeds in and take home. Other events consisted of a Zoom seed starting class and a plant swap.

“The thing I’m looking forward to most is learning more about gardening and improving my skills,” Mantanin said. “I’ve already learned a ton from checking out what others are growing and how they have things set up. I’ve met some garden renters who have given me some good tips, and as a bonus we have become friends as well.”

The official grand opening will take place at 6 p.m. July 26 at the garden, located at 27400 Southfield Road. The grand opening will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a dedication with Mayor Kelly Garrett, and a tour of the garden, and free samples of produce will be handed out.

Those who are interested in getting involved with the garden should contact LathrupVeggieGarden@gmail.com.