Capital Project

Ron Ory Community Garden Plots Site Master Plan

February 17, 2023 Update:

In 2022 the Park District received input from Garden Plots stakeholders for the development of the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots Site Master Plan. The Site Master Plan serves as a visionary document that guides the Park District in enhancing the Garden Plots site and programming.  In addition, the improvements identified in the Site Master Plan will be considered during the development of the Park District's annual capital budgets and phased over several years based on priority.

In 2023 the following garden plots site improvements are scheduled to be implemented:

  • One additional water station with two spigots will be added toward the northern section of the site. This will provide a total of 14 water stations and 28 spigots across the facility.
  • One additional raised bed will be added for those needing special accommodations.
  • The number of ADA-accessible port-o-lets will increase to four, with locations spread across the site.

In 2023, the Park District will also begin to prepare for future site improvements involving:

  • Site engineering and the preparation of construction documents for ADA accessible permeable paver parking lots to support activities at the garden plots and Knoch Park, raised planting beds, and site drainage enhancements proposed for implementation in 2024.
  • In the summer of 2023, a survey will be distributed to all current garden plot renters to gather additional information on enhancements being considered for the 2024 season. During the Garden Plots Site Master Plan process, the Park District received input from stakeholders regarding several potential enhancements. The input that was gathered will be explored further in the survey with specific questions related to no-till plots, length of the gardening season, and soil amendments.

The District will continue to collaborate with the Garden Plots users as we plan for the future needs of gardeners.

August 12, 2022 Update:

Per the process described below, the project team developed a draft Site Master Plan, which was presented on July 28, 2022 and received by the Board of Commissioners at the August 11, 2022 meeting. The approach of receiving the Community Garden Plots Site Master Plan provides an opportunity to continue collaborating with stakeholders and gathering input, as well as further refine operations/maintenance plans and cost estimates in preparation for presenting improvements to the Park Board for review and approval as part of the annual capital budget process.  

The Site Master Plan will serve as a visionary document and guide the Park District in enhancing the Garden Plots site and programming.  In addition, the improvements identified in the Site Master Plan will be considered during the development of the Park District's annual capital budgets and phased over several years based on priority.

Ron Ory Community Garden Plots Site Master Plan presentation slides from the July 28, 2022 Park Board meeting

If you have any questions or comments regarding the site master plan, please reach out to Brad Wilson at bwilson@napervilleparks.org

View Overall Master Plan

View Master Plan Enlargement

Master Plan was received at the August 11, 2022 Park Board meeting

 


Why a Site Master Plan in 2022?

The Ron Ory Community Garden Plots provide approximately 500 plots for gardeners in the community to grow their own vegetables and flowers. Over the years, other features have been added to the site, including the Idea Gardens, a tree nursery, honey bee hives and more. In 2022, as new ideas were being proposed for further development of the Garden Plots, the Park District believed that it was important to take time to reach out to the gardeners and the community for feedback about the site as it is now and what improvements may be helpful in the future considering the space available onsite.  

Summary of the Process

With the assistance of Upland Design, Ltd., the Park District created a Site Master Plan for the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots. The plan is based on a site analysis and community input provided through interactive meetings with stakeholders and with the public and through an online survey that was also available to the public. The design team prepared concepts based on the input gathered. Following review by the Park District, the plans were presented for comments at a second public meeting. The design team then prepared a Site Master Plan with photos and sketches and a cost estimate. Following further review by the Park District, the plan will be finalized in summer 2022.

Vision Statement for the Site Master Plan

“To enhance the community gardens through maintaining existing garden plots while diversifying and improving site elements at the community gardens.”

Project Timeline

Ron Ory Community Garden Plots Stakeholder Focus Group – 6:00 p.m., April 6, 2022

Invitations were sent to Garden Plot ambassadors, Master Gardeners, several other gardening participants, neighborhood organizations and Sportsman's Club representatives. The group discussed the site analysis and desired improvements and priorities.

First Public Meeting – 6:00-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 27 at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots (Rainout location is the Knoch Park Central Maintenance Facility, 427 W. Martin Ave.) This meeting was publicized through Park District communication channels and an email invitation was sent to current garden plot users. Upland Design led an interactive process to engage the community in this meeting. Participants completed a survey during the meeting. Read the meeting press release here.

Community Online Survey – April 28 – May 6

The survey conducted during the first public meeting was made available online to gardeners and the entire community to gather input from those unable to attend the meeting.  

Conceptual Design Planning – Early to Mid-May

he design team prepared two conceptual designs based on data and public input received to date, and the Park District had the opportunity to review and comment.  

Second Public Open House – 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 18 at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots.  The two preliminary concepts were made available for viewing and comment at the second public open house and the design team was on hand to answer questions. A digital version of the conceptual plans is now available online to gardeners and the public to gather input from those unable to attend the meeting. View the meeting press release here.

Second Community Online Survey – May 19-May 27

A digital version of the conceptual plans presented at the May 18 meeting was available online to gardeners and the public to gather input from those unable to attend the meeting. Anyone not able to attend the meeting was able to provide feedback online through May 27.  

Master Plan Preparation and Park District Review – Late May through July

Based on public input and Park District direction, the design team prepared one Site Master Plan for review and receipt by the Park District. The plan will be finalized in summer 2022.  Improvements identified in the Site Master Plan will be considered during the development of the Park District's annual capital budget, with implementation of the plan phased over several years.

Garden lots Site Analysis


FAQ's

During the Garden Plots Site Master Plan process the Park District received requests for these type of plots.

  • It's a form of gardening where once the garden area is established, the surface is not disturbed.
  • This method does not require tilling or digging; amendments are added directly on top of the soil.
  • What are the benefits of no-till?
    • Refraining from tilling the soil avoids disrupting the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil, thereby strengthening the soil's microbial community. A strong microbial community processes and retains nutrients, sequesters and holds carbon, and absorbs and holds water.
  • No, the Naperville Park District does not plan to start testing the soil, since testing in one or two areas will not be representative of soil as a whole.
  • Gardeners are more than welcome to the test their plot's soil to help them determine the type of amendments needed.
  • Soil testing kits may be purchased at local hardware stores, nurseries and online.
  • The donation station is intended as a place for Garden Plots gardeners to donate extra produce to local food pantry Loaves and Fishes.
  • Master Gardeners take this extra produce to Loaves and Fishes on a regular basis.
  • We plan to retain this donation spot, but may rotate it to face the plots, or possibly move it away from the east side parking lot.
  • Over time, the park district has worked to improve drainage at the garden plots through the addition of soil, installation of culverts, as well as other grading projects.
  • Unlike ball fields, which are graded to encourage water to flow off of a field, the garden plots area is a very flat surface, which makes for easy plowing, tilling and gardening.
  • As part of the Site Master Plan, the park district will continue to evaluate storm water drainage within the plots and when possible, will make improvements including the approach of piping ponding water away from problem areas.  When improvements are made the park district will attempt to limit the impacts to existing plots.
  • Initially, we will adjust the location of existing yard waste dumpsters to increase parking spots.
  • Parking lot maintenance, such as filling pot holes preseason and throughout the year, will occur as needed.
  • As part of the Site Master Plan, enhancements to existing parking lots and access drives is proposed.
  • The Park District confirmed that the use of permeable pavers for the proposed ADA accessible and parking lot improvements can be performed without the need to add stormwater detention at the Garden Plots and impact site amenities.
  • Some additional signage will be created to define parking and non-parking areas.

These trees will be relocated to Naperville Park District parks.

Yes, we will add more garbage/waste disposal cans for cleanup at the end of the season.


 

However, please note: We encourage you to leave all plant material in your plot at the end of the season. After the gleaning, this vegetation will be mowed down and then tilled, which helps to replenish the soil.


 

The only items that need to be removed at the end of the season are gardening tools, fencing, tomato cages, landscaping cloth, etc.

Yes, our parks staff started this process in 2022.

Yes, the Site Master Plan proposes the addition of several more raised beds.

  • Yes, each year in April we offer a Basic Gardening Workshop and an Organic Gardening Workshop.
  • These programs are held at the Knoch Knolls Nature Center and are free, but registration is required.
  • Video recordings of both of these workshops can be found here - https://www.napervilleparks.org/gardenplots - under the Gardening Resources section.
  • Yes, in recent years the information below has been added to the website:Video recordings of our two gardening workshops – Basic and Organic.
    • Vegetable family characteristics
    • Vegetable planting times and hardiness
    • Local soil temperatures
    • Ideal Seed Germination temperatures
    • National Weather Service climate data
  • Additional information/links will be provided in the Gardening Resources section - https://www.napervilleparks.org/gardenplots
  • Plus, there is a wealth of information online in general to help you garden.

Additional pollinator gardens are proposed within the Site Master Plan that draw in pollinators that will benefit your plants as well.

 

Yes, honeybees have been added this summer to the hives located at the west-end of the organic gardening section.