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Community garden pioneer Esther Ham
recognized at Marshall Community Garden

June 23, 2010, Marshall Community Gardens, Vancouver, WA

The Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation Department acknowledged the efforts of Esther "Kitty" Ham at a dedication in Marshall Community Garden.

"Kitty Ham was way ahead of her time," said Parks and Recreation Director, Pete Mayer. "Way before the popularization of concepts like ‘slow food', and ‘helping seniors battle isolation,' she knew the economic and nutritional value of locally grown food, the gratification of tending a garden, and the enriching community connection people (especially seniors) could gain from participating in a community garden."

Ham is credited with working with local government in the late 60s, to utilize land that was adjacent to Marshall Center, to create a community garden for seniors. She placed ads in The Columbian to announce the opportunity, and collected phone numbers of interested people through the ad. She acquired donated seeds from a Portland seed company, and nurtured them to seedlings in her small bathroom before bringing them to the garden.

The public was invited to the dedication of a monument recognizing Mrs. Ham, which was attended by family and close friends. The Marshall Community Garden is on the campus of Marshall Community Center, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd.

Mail to: billmccabe@yahoo.com