RANGELEY — Bunny Fazekas has been gardening for 50 years, but it wasn’t until the covid pandemic when she saw how her town came together to support one another’s health and wellness that she had the idea to start a community garden.
“Rangeley is a place where people want to help each other. The town rallies,” said Fazekas, who took note of how people shared food with one another and lent a hand where they could during the past year of the pandemic.
It was this caring attitude that she wanted to foster in creating a community garden. She began what she calls “the preliminary work” for the community garden that will open this summer back in June 2020. Fazekas contacted the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust and obtained a plot of land to begin a garden on Main Street, across from the Town and Lake Motel. The Heritage Trust had previously used half of the land for a bike path, but gave Fazekas permission to use the remaining portion of the land for a garden.
“You know they don’t own the land permanently. The land is given to drive an idea,” said Fazekas, who was in for more work than she expected in laying the foundation for her idea of a community garden. The plot of land was severely littered with metal detritus that took the combine effort of Fazekas and her husband, as well as several other members of the community who volunteered their time and resources, to clear the land for a usable garden plot. By late July, Fazekas had a 30×40 plot with two rows for planting.
“The garden worked,” said Fazekas. “But it wasn’t really a community garden yet. It had just been my husband, my son and me.”
With sponsorship and assistance from both the Heritage Trust and Rangeley’s Water Department, Fazekas is seeing her idea of a community garden through. She hopes that with enough interest and man power, the current garden could be expanded to a 90×40 plot.
“It’ll take volunteer work and some money to get it going. But it could be so much bigger. It’s something that has to grow,” said Fazekas.
Currently, Fazekas has acquired two interested parties already and is eagerly awaiting more. She hopes to appeal to the healthy lifestyle of many Rangeley residents, as well as offering a cultivation option to those in the community who might not own the land to do the gardening they desire. There is no limit to the number of those who wish to participate.
“Rangeley is a town that has the grit to stick with something and make it work, and that’s why I think the community garden will work,” said Fazekas.
Fazekas plans on making the plans for the community garden a collaborative effort. She will be hosting a meeting in May for participants to gather and discuss their plans for the garden. Those interested in joining the garden should contact Bunny Fazekas: 207-864-9142 or firstname.lastname@example.org.