FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- In April, Picerne Military Housing staff invites residents to grow their own produce in the organic Fort Rucker Community Garden.

Beginning with the demolition of two homes on Baker Street in Bowden Terrace, the garden infrastructure is underway. Development of the garden should be completed by the end of March and the garden is scheduled to be open by mid-April for planting, according to Amanda Filipowski, Picerne communications manager.

"The idea for the Community Garden was suggested by a resident last year and, this year, we have been able to make it a reality," she said.

Soldiers and Families living in on-post housing have an opportunity to grow their own produce on assigned plots of land in the Community Garden. Most plots will be 12-feet-by-15-feet, Filipowski said.

The garden is managed and maintained by the resident volunteer-run Community Garden Association.

About 24 plots are available to Families living on post on a first come, first-served basis through the CGA. Water access is available throughout the fenced organic garden, she said.

To make the garden a reality, about 20 Families attended the first town hall-like Community Garden planning meeting in late February. A small group of those in attendance joined together to establish the CGA's bylaws for future gardeners and currently meets weekly to establish those bylaws. Once the bylaws are in place, they will distribute information about the garden and association to military housing residents at a second meeting, Filipowski said.

"I've lived here for a while now and have been waiting for such a garden to open on Fort Rucker," Staff Sgt. Jose Bonet, an Allen Heights resident, said during the February Community Garden Meeting.

The garden helps Families make new friends, according to Robert Frazier, Picerne community management director.

"We liked the concept of the garden because it will allow Families to take ownership of the garden and get to know others in the community with similar interests," he said.

Any Picerne Military Housing residents interested in learning more about the Community Garden should contact their Neighborhood Offices.

A neighborhood management team collects residents' information and passes it along to the CGA, who contacts interested gardeners.

Those interested in being part of CGA leadership, should call Filipowski at 503-3609.