Kachemak Heritage Land Trust’s philanthropic garden is located on our 3.47-acre Platt Park property in the heart of Homer at the west end of Klondike Avenue. The garden has evolved into an important resource for local youth to learn about growing organic food and the land trust’s community involvement. Memberships and other general donations help maintain KHLT's garden facilities for community benefit.
KHLT purchased the Platt property in 2002, remodeled the log cabin to serve as our office, and made a plan for the property to serve as a mid-town park, including the established garden area for community members to maintain their own individual garden plots for a nominal fee.
Over time the large, fenced garden was under-utilized as individual plots, so in 2009 the Potato Project was launched in the lower portion to make more productive use of the whole for public benefit. The project entailed local schoolchildren planting and harvesting potatoes for Homer’s food pantry, connecting them to the concept of locally grown food while also giving back to the community. A portion of the upper garden area was reserved for The Center, whose special youth were an inspiration for years as they enthusiastically grew vegetables and helped with maintenance of the picnic area under the supervision of their dedicated staff.
Increasing drainage issues and a deteriorating fence prompted another review of garden use and management. In 2014 the old fencing was torn down and partly replaced, with the help of youth enrolled in Homer Wilderness Leaders (HoWL). The kids also planted vegetables, donated by a local greenhouse, into raised garden beds, benefitting the Homer Food Pantry with lettuce, kale, and spinach in the fall.
Funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program, matched by a grant from the City of Homer, provided support for outreach to teach local youth the importance of community building and KHLT’s work. Lumber for the new fencing was purchased with a People’s Garden grant through Homer Soil and Water Conservation Service.
Another group of HoWL youth returned in the summer of 2015 to complete the fence replacement, along with a contingent from the Junior Youth Spiritual Environmental Group. KHLT is honored to host local youth learning about environmental stewardship and community building.
Improvements to the garden for community projects will continue as funding and staffing permit. If you are interested in becoming a garden volunteer, please contact the Stewardship Director.