By: Julia Hall – Staff Writer
Tucked between high-rises, Garden Station provides the city of Dayton with an endearing oasis for fresh nutrients and community engagement. According to their Facebook page, “Garden Station is a community garden, art park, urban farm and sustainable living community education center founded in 2008 on the corner of 4th and Wayne, and is created completely by volunteers and donations.” On Saturday, April 23, the urban garden hosted an event called EarthFest 2016.
The artsy, agricultural block was saturated with folk tunes, earth-friendly vendors, and mouthwatering aromas wafting. An artist, out of the back of his pick-up truck, displayed paintings that brilliantly popped with hot pinks, oranges, and reds that were twirled in a tie-dye-like fashion. A candle maker was selling organic candles that strikingly smelled of strawberries and honey. Harvest, a local, organic food truck cooked up fish tacos, black bean falafel, and sweet potato fries. The vibe that radiated from the event had a touch of magical warmth.
People of all ages roamed around, spending money on products and foods that were non-GMO, organic, and “green.” Going back to the roots of life, this buzzy event provided goods and educational services in a manner that inspired the urge to grow tomatoes for homemade salsa or to sweeten tea with locally harvested honey.
Children climbed on sculptures. Babies bounced on hips. The youth of tomorrow scurried alongside the garden beds and upon artistic pieces with laughter on their lips and smudges of Fronana on their cheeks. Their presence reinforced the pressure to live sustainably for the future.
The educational experience revolving around EarthFest 2016 included presentations and activities pertaining to sustainable living. According to the EarthFest 2016 Facebook page, guest teachers, Margo and Dan Royer-Miller discussed small-scale, sustainable farming in the morning. Also, Fan Farments and the Tiny House Community in Dayton brought a tiny house in progress to showcase at the event. The educational portion of the event correlated with had a fun element to it, which drew a vast number of city dwellers to an urban agricultural setting. Further, the large crowd demonstrated the thunder amassing behind the green movement in Dayton under a cloudless sky.
While EarthFest 2016 represents a strong hub for sustainable events and ideas, it has been overcast with news of eviction for Garden Station. According to the Garden Station website, “That is why it hurts my heart to have to let you know that we found out last Tuesday morning that our lease has not been renewed but we have been given a temporary Right of Entry. The property was conveyed to the developer at Wednesday’s City Commission meeting.” They are currently working on a relocation plan.
After enjoying the sunshine, a fiddle, and a sandwich at EarthFest, the thought of the ousting of Garden Station seems foreboding. Amongst a strong wave of enthusiasm and joy surrounding the environmental sustainability cause, the future is uncertain for Garden Station.