A raised garden bed redesign

Americorps Member Ben Mardis joined us late last summer as part of an innovative statewide partnership program spearheaded by CommonThreads in Bellingham. Ben has contributed to Oxbow in so many ways, from leading fruit tree pruning workshops to conducting family field trips as part of our Oxbow Adventure Package. Ben’s latest contribution is a total redesign of the raised garden beds in our Kids’ Farm. Check out the process for the project below!

Garden beds before.

Goal: Rearrange the placement of the raised beds in the Living Playground and replace them with more permanent materials.

Summary: Over the course of about four months the old wooden raised beds were removed and replaced with custom-made, modular concrete blocks. Click on a thumbnail below or start the slideshow to see the process (each step is explained in the captions) that made it all happen!

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Reflections from Ben
This project provided a great challenge. It gave me a chance to run through a very expedited design process with a large group, design within a budget, and an opportunity to practice and develop competency with many skills that were required to make the design a on the ground reality.

Special thanks: To Casey (Oxbow’s Operations and Maintenance Manager) who provided patient guidance and various other expertise throughout the process. To Jeff (Maintenance Crew) who whipped up a great 2nd iteration of the cement forms after lessons learned from the 1st. To Shannon (Kid’s Farm Manager) for fumbling along with me on that 1st set of concrete forms. To Hannah (OxEd Team) who braved the months of cement pouring, caulking scraping, soil shifting, block laying, leveling, and squaring off debacles, right along with me. To the all the other folks from the OxEd Team and Maintenance crew who lent a hand along way!

Thank you, Ben, for all your hard work to make Oxbow’s Kids’ Farm and Garden space more beautiful and long-lasting!