Two honored for garden work in Basalt | AspenTimes.com

Two honored for garden work in Basalt

Town of Basalt Courtesy photo

BASALT – Two women were honored by the Basalt Town Council recently for making the midvalley a better place through their work in gardens.

Jessica Olson was recognized for organizing an effort to use ground at the Basalt Community Garden to grow food that supplied the Lift-Up food pantries with fresh vegetables.

Lisa DiNardo was honored for her extraordinary green thumb in creating and maintaining Basalt’s public gardens and wooded areas.

Olson signed up this spring for a small plot at the community garden at Grace-Shehi Park near Basalt High School. She had gardened with her mom when she was growing up but hadn’t gardened on her own as an adult until this year.

In addition to nurturing her own plot, Olson planted the idea of using vacant space at the community garden to feed hungry people. She approached the Mid-Valley Community Garden Collective to authorize use of the space. Through that effort, other gardeners helped Olson plant seeds, weed and water the veggies through the spring and summer.

“Jessica, with no gardening experience or connections, took charge of the project and nurtured the idea into the reality of feeding local families in need with great and uplifting success,” read the town’s certificate of honor. “The Basalt Town Council is pleased to recognize Jessica Olson for the conceptualization, organization and implementation of the Lift-Up Community Garden.”

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DiNardo is a horticulturist and a certified arborist. As a member of the town staff, she has earned accolades for years for the flower gardens around Town Hall and scattered throughout the old part of town, South Side and Willits. Her most recent recognition from the council, though, was for a different part of her job.

“Basalt’s community forest instills a quiet and appealing aesthetic which touches the lives of its citizens and visitors every day,” said the certificate of honor read by the council. “From the Narrowleaf Cottonwood corridor that lines the Roaring Fork River on Two Rivers Road to the diverse tree canopy that includes roughly 1,709 trees in our parks, open space, streets and rights of way, Basalt’s forestry staff is committed to preserving this important community asset.”

Both women were acknowledged in a public ceremony at the start of a Town Council meeting.

scondon@aspentimes.com