Cumberland council endorses Twin Brook community garden

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CUMBERLAND — The Town Council on Monday unanimously supported establishment of a community garden at the Twin Brook Recreation Area.

The council accepted the recommendations of the Twin Brook Advisory Committee. The committee called for the first year of the garden to be a pilot program that will be reviewed no later than November, and for the town and committee to receive updates each month about the garden’s development.

The garden will initially be no more than 2,000 square feet, and will have rules that govern garden use. The Twin Brook committee will review projects such as fencing and tool storage before they are implemented.

The Cumberland Community Garden Initiative requires Planning Board and Maine Department of Environmental Protection amendments before approvals. The garden, planned for the Tuttle Road side of Twin Brook, could be in place by late April. The garden will produce donations for local food pantries in its pilot phase, and it is planned to be expanded with plots for lease.

Karyn Marden, a Cumberland Foreside resident who serves on a steering committee for the initiative, last week said the land has always been pasture and never used for crops, so it is important to make sure the soil is conditioned. She said that in the first year of most community gardens, the soil must be trialed.

The Town Council also voted to table until April 11 discussion on amendments to Main Street zoning that were recommended by the Cumberland Town Center Advisory Committee.

The Planning Board deadlocked 3-3 last December on whether to recommend the zoning changes, which would allow businesses on part of Main Street. The new Town Center District would cover Main Street between Tuttle Road and Moss Side Cemetery.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.