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RE: Do Community Gardens Build Community?

Hey!!!  For once I *DIS*agree with Adam!

Although community gardens are, indeed, usually started by community
activists, these innovators are often unaware that they ARE community
activists. And among many of our newer gardeners here in Philadelphia we
see a lot of excitement when people realize that they could easily go on to
start a TownWatch, get potholes fixed, get petitions signed, get summer
day-care started or improved, etc.  Joyce Marin, who organized the organic
community garden in Emmaus, PA, credits her community gardening organizing
experience with giving her the incentive, know-how, and guts to run for and
win elected office.

On a more local level, Seedy Acres Garden and Orianna Hill Community Park
here in my own neighborhood have become a place to make friends & job
connections, find an apartment or roommate or somebody to walk your dog.
And next to the actual Neighborhood Organization, they're the quickest
place to solicit votes and signatures or let people know about any
neighborhood issues.

>Communities build community gardens, nor vice versa. Gardens in and of
>themselves are only as activist as their members. Some gardeners become
>politicized when they experience hard times but the general run of
>post-boomer gardeners do their communing with nature, compost and leave it
>at that. NYC community gardeners are sometimes a focus of organizing when
>threatened, but in general ( except on the Lower East Side,("LES") are
>un-political which is kinda dumb, considering the mayor we have.
>Please read our archives at http://www.community_garden@mallorn.com, click
>on "mailing lists" then "community garden". There is a wealth of material
>there for you to reference. My stuff in the archives includes many
>hyperlinked websites that should be helpful to you.
>God luck,
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:	Keisha Payson [SMTP:cpayson@Bowdoin.EDU]
>> Sent:	Monday, April 17, 2000 3:08 PM
>> To:	community_garden@mallorn.com
>> Subject:	[cg] Do Community Gardens Build Community?
>> Hello Community Gardeners,
>> I am doing a research paper for a class on Sustainable Communities.  The
>> research question I have posed is a big one - do community gardens build
>> community, and if so, are there certain elements or aspects of a CG that
>> help to foster this community.  I have been doing interviews of
>> gardeners here in Maine and all is going well.  But I have a question of
>> the larger CG community out there - do any of you have stories you could
>> share about instances where members of a community garden have gotten
>> together to work on a different issue in their neighborhood based on
>> their relationships established through the community garden.  (i.e.
>> community gardening members organizing together to work on issues like
>> crime, a political event, a school issue, a landlord issue)
>> I would appreciate any stories you might have.
>> Thanks!
>> Keisha Payson
>> _______________________________________________
>> community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com
>> https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden
>community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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