DUNWOODY, Ga. — Amid the bustle of one of the largest office hubs in Metro Atlanta, the Dunwoody Community Garden and Orchard at Brook Run is facing a threat from — of all things — deer.
Garden officials are striving to build a new deer fence around the property. Within the past year, the community landmark has been struggling to protect plants and crops from hungry animals displaced by the nearing construction developments in the Brook Run area. Although the current fence bordering the garden covers roughly 700 feet, the installation technique and current state of repair hinders the fence from remaining a reliable protection source. With the garden’s complex shape and number of gates required for the project, the cost for a new fence is projected to exceed $16,000.
“[The] Board of Directors is soliciting competing bids for an 8-foot replacement fence which would be professionally installed and have a life expectancy of at least 20 years,” said Stasia Kelly, DCGO spokeswoman for Community Outreach and Communications. “These estimates will not include charges for removing the old fence and posts, work that volunteers will be called upon to perform.”
The City of Dunwoody has agreed to match the funding raised by the DCGO for the project. However, because the city does not have any funding in its 2020 budget, the fence must be installed by the end of the year to receive the match.
“The DCGO Board of Directors has approved one of the three written estimates we solicited and forwarded that contract to the City of Dunwoody (Parks and Recreation) for signature,” said DCGO Chairwoman Ann Bone. “The actual customer for the fence is the city since Brook Run Park is city land…We are hopeful that installation can begin within the next few weeks and be completed by the end of the year.”
Since its founding in 2009, the garden and orchard has become a staple of the community. Beginning with just 60 numbered plots, the garden quickly expanded to 92 plots and extensive border plantings in 2011. The DCGO continues to thrive off of the continued support of community and business organizations along with their established partnership with the city’s Parks Department. Dedicated volunteers devote their time and effort toward the DCGO’s extensive labor duties and requirements.
“[We have received] all positive feedback,” said greenhouse manager Art Simon. “We are so fortunate to have these facilities and the support of the City of Dunwoody. [DCGO] is a well-kept secret and people are amazed when they visit the greenhouse complex and the main garden.”
Simon said the operation supports charity groups with food donations, other community gardens with plants and provides educational and recreational experiences for Boy Scouts and veterans groups.
With combined funding from annual membership fees, plant sales and donations, the DCGO is still in need of funding to complete the fence by the end of the year.
For more information about how you can become involved, call Stasia Kelly at 678-642-1971 or visit dcgo.org. To contribute to the DCGO, mail your donation to P.O. Box 888442, Dunwoody, Ga 30356.
“I am so proud of our garden and orchard. We gladly host folks from other counties and community gardens and share as much info and support we can with them,” Bone said. “We have many repeat customers who support us each year.”