BANGOR, Maine — The inaugural season of the Bangor Community Garden is ready to kick off — appropriately — on Earth Day, Friday, April 22.

For months, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department has been working with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the nonprofit group National Able Network and interested Bangor residents on the initiative.

A city-owned piece of property on Essex Street has been set aside and carved into 8-foot-by-12-foot and 4-foot-by-4-foot raised beds where participants can grow whatever they like within reason.

“We are fortunate to have a group of dedicated individuals willing to partner with us to make this concept a reality,” Parks and Recreation Director Tracy Willette said.

The community garden idea came from residents who wanted the ability to grow flowers or vegetables but who didn’t have the space. The concept has been successful in numerous other communities across the country, usually in crowded cities where garden space is at a premium.

In Bangor, the Parks and Recreation advisory committee and, eventually, the City Council approved a concept last fall and identified land on former Naval Reserve property.

The space on Essex Street is now fenced in, it’s close to downtown, and it has water available from a nearby source that also supplies Dakin Pool.

Charles Boothby, a Kenduskeag Avenue resident who led the group of interested residents on the community garden initiative, actually has his own 35-foot-by-50-foot garden. But he said others are not as lucky.

“It just makes sense for people to have their own garden and to be able to grow their own fresh produce,” he said last summer when the idea first surfaced.

Although there is a finite amount of space available in the Bangor Community Garden, the city is seeking applications until April 25. An annual fee of $25 reserves a larger plot while a $15 fee secures a smaller space.

Willette said he hopes the garden creates yet another community offering for Bangor residents and offers people the chance to take pride in something they grow themselves.

The official opening of the garden will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, April 22.

More information on the Bangor Community Garden is available online at or by calling 992-4490.