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Community garden wants to expand onto more park land

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A community garden that hosts a free organic produce giveaway every Sunday wants to expand its operation with an urban orchard of fruit trees, but it’s on park property.

The 500-foot expansion would fence and cover an area in Parque Ninos Unidos at 23rd and Treat streets that was supposed to be used for landscape after the park’s opening in 2003.

However, the lawn was never landscaped and park officials say it is underutilized.

The lead gardener is offering the Recreation and Park Department up to $10,000 to pay for the fence and also move the composting bins.

The gardeners sometimes contribute their goods to the Free Farm Stand, a volunteer-run operation that has given away more than 1,000 pounds of organic produce during the past six months.

Neighbors were apparently worried that a fence would obstruct their view of limited open space, but park officials are offering to make it a 3-foot-tall chain-link fence.

The Recreation and Park Commission will vote on the proposal and whether to accept the gift at its meeting Thursday.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com