The Giving Garden is the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center’s first major initiative at Coogan Farm since acquiring the property last year. The Nature Center, United Way of Southeastern Connecticut and the Robert G. Youngs Family Foundation signed an agreement to have a 2-acre garden on the preserve that will grow produce for donation to the Gemma E. Moran United Way Labor Food Center, which distributes food to 63 programs that serve 91 feeding sites across New London County.
Local horticulturalist Ian Cooke of Mystic has been hired to run the project. Cooke will host an informational meeting on the garden at 7 p.m., Monday April 14 at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, 109 Pequotsepos Road, Mystic.
Volunteer opportunities at the garden begin April 5. ‘Work Days’ will be organized by Cooke to clear the land in preparation for planting. The Work Days are 8 a.m., to noon the first Saturday of every month beginning April 5, and 2 p.m., to 6 p.m., every Wednesday, beginning April 9."We have had a tremendous outpouring of interest in the community about this project," Cooke said, "and we want to allow volunteers every opportunity to help — with whatever level of skill and amount of time they can dedicate." More structured volunteer commitments to garden the several plots that will be established are also welcome, Cooke said.