VERA HOUSE COMMUNITY GARDEN
The Vera House Community Garden is an organic garden with 11 individual plots and a communal herb plot. It is located on the corner of 34th and North Mountain View. It is sponsored by the Normal Heights Community Development Corporation and plots are open to residents in the larger Normal Heights community. Priority is given to residents within the immediate neighborhood and then to residents in the larger Normal Heights community. If plots are still available, residents of nearby communities can join. Each gardener is assigned a plot that is about 10′ by 20′ and pays $25.00 every six months
The Vera House Community Garden was created from the separate visions of two women, both long term residents of Normal Heights. Fran Wilcox organized the first community gardens in Normal Heights on Bonnie Court in the 1970’s and the Children’s Garden at Adams Elementary School in the 1980’s. The Bonnie Court garden closed when construction on Interstate 15 began and the Children’s Garden closed after about six years of operation.
Undaunted, Fran, joined by Lois Miller, (both were active in the NHCDC) began looking for another site. They found the empty, weed-filled lot at the corner of North Mountain View and 34th and in 1992 advertised for gardeners. A neighbor helped clear the lot and dug trenches for the irrigation system with his back-hoe. A fence went up, plots were laid out, and the garden was a reality. The garden is dedicated to the memory of Vera House who had lived across the street from this lot and had long envisioned a garden there. It was Vera House’s vision that inspired her neighbor, Lois Miller, to join Fran Wilcox in establishing the garden. Three of her daughters have gardened there, including one who is presently a member.
Contributed by Katherine Rotherham