ISLAND CITY - With good spring rains this year, Maria Bourn and about 15 students from Eastern Oregon University are raising a good, healthy crop of produce at the new Island City Community Garden.

Tomatoes, lettuce, basil and other herbs, onions and squash were planted in mid-May and have gotten off to a good start.

Bourn said more space is available for anyone who would enjoy learning how to grow their own produce.

The garden work involves cultivating, planting, watering and harvest. A variety of starts are available at no charge, Bourn said.

The garden is located next to the Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church at 10501 Island Ave. The project has no connection with the church.

David and Nancy Dahlstrom have donated the use of the vacant land as well as implements to cultivate the garden. The Dahlstroms also tilled a section of ground for spring planting. Bourn said the arrangement is semi-permanent, as the property is for sale.

Bourn said that getting more community involvement in the garden is one of the projects they have set for themselves this summer.

Rob Davis helped the garden group get started this year by obtaining a $500 grant from Eastern Oregon University's Cornerstone program.

Bourn has contacted retirement homes, an at-risk youth program, Boy Scouts, 4-H and FFA groups to get them involved.

Many of those already involved are master gardeners. Bourn said she completed the program herself last winter and would like to establish workshops for the Master Gardeners program involving spring planting and the fall harvest.

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