Central Bible Church, located near NE Glisan St. and NE 90th Ave. in the Montavilla neighborhood, hopes to begin planting a new community garden on its grounds in the next two weeks.

Church member Matt Lawer, 27, has been working to build community-wide interest in the garden. He is one of a dozen other members in his church involved in the project.

“We really want to be a service to the community we’re living in,” Lawer says. “We want to minister to the local community rather than just be a building people drive by everyday.”

The 16-plot community garden was born out of a 2,400 square-foot lawn Lawer says his church wanted to see become more useful and utilized by the community. There are a number of apartment buildings in the area without green space, he says.

“Instead of letting the [lawn] lie fallow, we decided to let people use the space,” he says.

Eight garden plots will measure 10 by 10 feet, and eight others will measure 20 by 10 feet. The church decided to make plots that large in order to enable people to make significant contributions to the amount of food they eat through the vegetables and produce they are able to grow.

“200 square feet isn’t that much,” Lawer says, adding that he hopes the church is able to offer more plots in the future.

Currently, eight of the 16 plots are taken. Lawer says simple word of mouth is the reason why those eight plots have filled.

The plots are given free of charge. According to Lawer, the church wanted to minimize as many barriers as possible. The lawn’s sod has already been removed, manure tilled into the soil, and the last major thing left to do is build four spigots that will conduct water to the garden.

Lawer says the church is looking forward to the garden opening in part because it will increase the community spirit in the immediate area. “[Community gardens] gets people out of their houses,” Lawer thinks. “[Neighbors] have to see each other and cooperate.”

Montavilla neighbors interested in a garden plot should call the church at 503.206.8764.