LAYTON -- Wasatch Energy Systems, operator of the Davis and Morgan counties burn plant and landfill, is doing more than getting rid of your garbage this spring and summer. It is also in the community garden business.
Some 2.5 acres of surplus land at 650 E. Highway 193 has been planted by juvenile offenders through a cooperative new 2nd District Juvenile Court and Wasatch Energy Systems program.The garden has 44 rows of corn, 38 of green beans and six rows each of watermelon, zucchini, honeydew and cantaloupe. Some trees, pumpkins, flowers and tomatoes were also planted.
Burn plant director Jack Schmidt got the idea of starting the garden after hearing of a similar program elsewhere. The District Court and other agencies have made it a reality.
"The juveniles who work on the program will be held accountable while feeling a sense of accomplishment and service," Julie Smith, court liaison of the 2nd District Juvenile Court, said.
"The community will benefit as all of the produce, flowers, trees, etc., from the garden will be donated to the homeless and other nonprofit programs in the area. It will definitely be a win-win situation for everyone."
Scott Stewart, work program supervisor for the 2nd District Juvenile Court, also speaks highly of the program.
"We want this to be something that will build these youths' self-esteem. This community garden will allow these youths to work together with the master gardeners and also bridge the understanding between the generations," Stewart said.
The Utah State University Botanical Gardens is sending some of its master gardeners to direct the gardening effort. Juvenile offenders will weed, water and harvest the produce from the garden.
"They'll be involved from start to finish," Wasatch Energy spokesman John Crofts said.
Wasatch Energy spent last fall preparing some of the land for planting. This spring, youth from the 2nd District Juvenile Court removed rocks and helped level the land.
The property is located just south of the citizen unloading facility at the burn plant.
Community help is still needed in the form of donations of wheelbarrows, rakes, shovels and other garden equipment.
Call 771-5661 for more information. Donations can be dropped off at the scale house of either the burn plant or the landfill.