The Bexley Community Garden held an open house Sunday, Aug. 23, to help raise awareness and encourage more local residents to participate.

The Bexley Community Garden held an open house Sunday, Aug. 23, to help raise awareness and encourage more local residents to participate.

Located at the intersection of Ferndale Place and Mayfield Place in south Bexley, the community garden is a partnership between the Bexley Recreation and Parks Department and the Ohio State University Franklin County Extension Service. There are currently 50 gardeners who maintain 72 plots, including several gardeners from the apartment buildings on Ferndale and Mayfield, said Donald Skaggs, a Bexley resident and a master gardener with the OSU Extension.

"We do all the maintenance of the garden, but (the city) does provide support by providing us wood chips, they do any hauling we need, they put in the water for us," he said.

Skaggs' wife, Ann, maintains a communal herb garden that includes basil, oregano, horseradish and fennel. She also has tended to an individual vegetable plot since the community garden started six years ago.

"We don't have any sun in our yard," Ann Skaggs said. "Vegetables don't do well in shade."

The community garden includes a beehive, a butterfly garden and a pollinator garden designed to attract insects that help pollinate plants and flowers.

"One-third of what we eat in the grocery store would not exist if it weren't for pollination," said Connie Schalinske, a beekeeper who tends the community garden's hive.

Gardeners rent plots at the community garden for $30 annually. The gardeners donate some of the vegetables they grow to the food pantry at the Broad Street Presbyterian Church, said Diane Gosser, another master gardener with OSU Extension.

"We give close to 400 pounds of food to the food pantry" each year, she said.

The garden also includes an area where anyone from the community can take what they want. The garden promotes a sense of togetherness, with everyone pitching in to keep everything green, said Maggie Harriman, another master gardener with the OSU Extension.

"The goal is to have everybody who gardens out here to put a little work in," she said.

For more information about the Bexley Community Garden, including how to rent a plot, call the Bexley Recreation and Parks Department at 614-559-4300.