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March 22, 2020

Dear Gardeners,

As winter has turned into spring, our gardening season is upon us. Unfortunately, as you all know, this year we (our garden community, our city, country, and world) are facing an extremely serious public health challenge. Every person in our society has a role to play to protect themselves and their community, and the garden is no exception. Our garden community has a highly vulnerable population, and our goal and common commitment is to ensure that the garden remains a safe place to commune with nature.

If you haven’t yet, please visit the websites below to learn more about the COVID-19 virus, what every individual should be doing to protect themselves and their community, and what to do if you think that you are sick.

If you have issues and are unable to actively garden this growing season, please contact John Mitchell at mitchell.john@epa.gov as soon as possible.

The garden board has developed some guidance to assist in protecting ourselves and our community this season (while these are not exhaustive, they seem to be common sense and we expect every gardener to follow this guidance):

  • Wash your hands before coming to the garden and when returning home from the garden.
  • Engage in social distancing at all times.
  •  Do not come to the garden if you feel sick.
  • If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, please inform the Garden President immediately (mitchell.john@epa.gov or on his mobile at 202-834-8447)
  • Wear gloves when:

·         opening and closing the garden gate latches;

·         opening and closing the garden sheds;

·         using tools in the sheds;

·         using the wheelbarrows; and

·         wash your gloves after each use.

  • When using the water (which will be turned on in the next couple of weeks; we will inform gardeners when that happens) please use the soap dispensers for each hose bib. The dispensers will be in place by April 7. Also, be sure you:
    • wash tools with soap before and after using them;
    • wash the spigot with soap after using it;
    • wash the hose handle with soap after using it; and
    • wash your hands with soap.

Please be very careful when washing up not to leave the area around the hoses sopping wet – please wash tools using the hoses at the back of the garden (to the south) near the gorge.

If you have other ideas on how to protect our community, please write to the Garden President at mitchell.john@epa.gov

We look forward to seeing you in the garden and ensuring that it remains a safe and wonderful place.

Melvin Hazen Community Garden Board

Garden Photo by Cintia Cabib

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