Community garden adds supervisor

Oxford Community Garden’s new supervisor Mary Rowley waters peas, carrots and beets in a raised planter at the garden on Monday, May 9. Photo by D. Vaglia

By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
Moving into its second year of operation, the community garden at Seymour Lake Township Park has one more regular staff member. Mary Rowley, retired hairstylist and lifelong green thumb, has been brought on as the garden’s new supervisor.
“I needed help this year and Mary came out and volunteered last year and said ‘Oh my gosh I love this, I would love to help,’” Dawn Medici, Oxford Township Parks and Recreation travel and senior coordinator, said. “She is kind of like my assistant … She will be out here when I cannot or we will both be out here together, depending on what needs to be done.”
Rowley started off as a volunteer in 2021, helping the garden as needed.
“I retired so I just started volunteering last year,” Rowley said. “It just kind of snowballed. I needed something else to do [and] Dawn said ‘I really need some more some more help.’”
Rowley has been a passionate plant grower throughout her life, tending to various flowers and foods.
“I have a lot of perennials,” Rowley said. “I have my daisies, my stella d’oro, there [are] so many. I have a lot of flowers.”
As for her vegetable experience, Rowley has grown tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and beans. Rowley’s arrival is not the only change to the garden’s operations for 2022. While the garden started from donated plants in 2021, this year it will be growing plants from seeds. Among some of the new plants are sweet peppers, herbs and beans.
Volunteers are still invited to help with the garden, and they will work with Rowley, Medici or both when they show up.
“If I cannot be out here to give instructions to volunteers or to look at a product to see if it needs to be harvested or if the ground plants need to be watered, that is where Mary will step in and provide tasks for the volunteers that come out,” Medici said.
Those interested in helping with the community garden can contact Medici at 248-628-1720 ext. 101 or send an email to dawnmedici@oxparkrec.org.

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