The Idyllwild Community Garden, proposed by the Forest Folk and supported by the county Economic Development Agency that runs Idyllwild recreation, may be on hold for a year because of lack of agreement upon an appropriate site.
The leading candidate for the garden had been a parcel at the Nature Center on Highway 243. The Regional Park and Open Space District found it unsuitable after Keith Herron, resource bureau chief for the agency visited it.
“I’ve communicated that we can’t approve this site to Bill Brown, EDA and the board of supervisors,” said Herron. Shelley Kibby, Nature Center park interpreter had supported a community garden site at the center.
Herron’s concern was that the garden’s proposed location would require fencing or some way to secure it from wildlife, that the construction would mar the entrance to the Nature Center, and there were additional issues involving water and gate access and fees that would need to be resolved. Its appearance within the entry corridor was the deciding factor.
“That entry corridor is part of the Nature Center’s beauty and appeal as a natural environment,” said Herron. “It’s a scenic entrance.
“We are open to working with the parties to find an alternative,” said Herron, but acknowledged the difficulty of finding something and getting a garden built for this growing season.
The Forest Folk had investigated two other sites — in Mountain Center at Chapel in the Pines property and in Pine Cove on land jointly owned by the Pine Cove and Idyllwild Water Districts before settling on the Nature Center site.