Over two dozen community members gathered in Wales Park Oct. 2 to celebrate reaching a $2,000 fundraising goal to extend water lines into the park for the community garden.

The fundraising goal was to pay Belfast Water District to hook up a water line in the park, according to Parks and Recreation Director Norm Poirier. White Cap Builders donated a wooden structure it built to hold garden supplies on the site and is volunteering to install the water lines so gardeners have two spigots from which to draw water.

Currently, there is a large blue drum of water for gardeners to draw, which limits available water.

About 20 public donors gave about $1,000 to pay for the water line and Nordic Aquafarms donated $982 to complete the fundraising goal. Nordic spokeswoman Jacki Cassida said typically the company sponsors many local events, but the coronavirus has caused events to be canceled, so it seemed appropriate to donate to the garden. "It was just a small way we could help in the community," she said.

Belfast Garden Club first floated the idea of a community garden last summer, Poirier said. It was approved by City Council, then 10 plots were established for residents earlier this summer.

Only about four of those plots were used, but Poirier said he hopes they can extend the garden into more plots around the perimeter of the park to allow more residents to participate in the garden. His vision is ultimately to have a network of community gardens around Belfast.

Poirier and city officials are still discussing how to choose among residents who apply for a garden plot, he said.

"This is a miracle to me in two months of planting," Mayor Eric Sanders said of the time gardeners had to grow plots of bushy plants. The large amount of unused green space in Wales Park makes it the perfect place for a community garden, Poirier said.