Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dotty DeCoster Remembered

Dotty courtesy of the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog
"It is not only in a park; in some ways it is the park. This means we are on public display all the time, and it means that every time you garden you are likely to find yourself answering questions by visitors. (Plan a little extra time for each gardening session.) The park and the p-patch were organized, developed, and designed together by neighbors of the park (some of whom are current gardeners) in collaboration with both the P-Patch Program and the Parks Department. There are other features to the park besides gardening, including skate boarding, grilling, sketching, photographing, and just hanging out. So there is often company while you are gardening. Summit Slope Park is an urban oasis and we're so lucky to be able to garden there."

As you may or may not have heard, one of our P-Patch founders, Activist, Writer and long-time Capitol Hill resident passed away at the end of January.  Dotty joined the Unpaving Paradise effort in 2009 and volunteered to be on the Communications Committee in 2010.  She helped put together and completed much of the work to create a protective barrier for the Patch for our first winter.

Dotty became our site coordinator in January of 2013 after a unanimous vote.  She devoted immense energy and time to the garden working on the maintenance committee, compost committee chair, maintaining the Garden map and our communications.  She was also responsible for authoring the Park's By-Laws and was a constant advocate for the Park, the P-Patch, its attendants and inhabitants.  She will be irreplaceable.

Dotty Remembered

Dotty stitching together the garden blanket
"During  the first year of Unpaving Paradise I fondly remember seeing Dotty seated on the floor of the nearby church basement floor. She was earnestly stitching together some of the 500+ burlap coffee bean bags which were going to blanket our pristine new soil from the cold winter. It was a big job and I felt encouraged by her significant time and effort." 
-Shawn (gardener)

"She was with Unpaving Paradise from the beginning, and put up with a lot...for the sake of the garden community.  I will always appreciate her patience and fortitude."
-Jen (gardener)

"Dotty bent over backwards to hear everyone out and be as fair and impartial as possible.  She took the well-being of the park, p-patch, and gardeners - and the experiences of park visitors and neighbors - very seriously...Over the two years that Dotty was our site coordinator many gardeners told me that she did a wonderful job.  One person told me she was "the perfect person for that job."  It meant a lot to us to have her keeping the big picture of the site in mind, and I think it meant a lot to her to have a part in building and maintaining a beautiful park and p-patch in the middle of the city, in the neighborhood she spent so much of her life in, and gave so much of herself to.  She will be missed and remembered."
-Bruce (gardener)

"Dotty was a tireless advocate in the creation of both a p-patch  at Summit Slope park as well as 7 Hills Park.  Attending all of the parks planning meetings for the two parks she helped bring the community/gardens into the plans.  Once established and getting garden space at Unpaving Paradise Dotty took on a leadership role. Dotty's history of work in the community paid off and she was an important person to p-patch staff helping mediate and help the garden run smoothly and become the asset it has in the community.
We will miss her wise perspective and calming nature"
-Sandy Pernitz - Community Garden Coordinator

Dotty at a work party

Capitol Hill Seattle Remembers Dotty DeCoster

No comments: