Victory Gardens were very popular in the 1940's. Medford and other cities allowed public parkland and vacant lots to be used for family gardens. Some of the larger gardens were located off Grove Street, Riverside Avenue and Washington Street according to local history enthusiast Harold George. Victory gardening enabled people to be self-reliant as they worked the soil to raise food for their families, friends, and neighbors. Once again Medford has made public land available for community gardens. The community garden in Medford is part of the Mystic Riverbend Park, located off Riverside Avenue. This neighborhood park, developed by the city with federal funding last year as part of the new schools project, is near several schools, federal housing and large apartment complexes. Read more about the park by clicking on the link About Mystic Riverbend Park.
The park has winding walkways, interpretive panels, new plantings and some great views. If you haven't been to this area in awhile, take a walk around the park to find this once stark area is becoming a community resource for a variety of activities beyond field sports. The city has protected the natural resources and planted grasses and bushes that will attract birds.
Riverbend Park is a wonderful place for meeting your neighbors, taking a birding walk and gardening. A fenced section of the park is divided into 37 plots that will be assigned to individuals, families, groups or classrooms wishing to garden according to a waiting list. All Medford residents are welcome to apply for a community garden plot. The annual fee for a large garden plot is $20 and a half plot is $15.
It's a wonderful area for growing with full exposure to the sun, spigots to provide water and rich topsoil. Planting soil is eighteen inches deep and trucked in from off site. Underneath the soil, there is a fabric membrane and crushed stone for drainage. Gardeners with a plot at the Medford Community garden will be provided with tool storage, tools and resources.
The garden is particularly convenient for the neighborhood residents of Rockwell Terrace, Lightguard Drive, Mystic Towers and nearby Medford Schools but all Medford residents are welcome to get involved. Visit the gardens to watch the growth or join the Riverbend Community Garden group and help with current projects.
If you would like additional information please email the Garden Coordinator at RiverbendCommunityGarden2003@gmail.com.