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doing the basics

  • Subject: [cg] doing the basics
  • From: "Jack Hale" <jackh@knoxparks.org>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 17:03:09 -0400 (EDT)

Hi gang-

I have a challenge.  It's not typical community gardening, but it is certainly gardening in  community.  Here in Hartford, we are looking toward widespread improvement in the physical condition and esthetics in our neighborhoods.  The official reason is to make neighborhoods more attractive so that more people will want to buy houses there (Hartford has a very low home ownership rate).  My reason for working on it is that we will be able to encourage people to be better stewards and better neighbors and we will be able to give them some of the tools and knowledge to do that.

Anyway, I'm looking for other programs around the country/planet that aim at encouraging people to "do the basics well."  It will be pretty low-level stuff, but my hope/wish is that once people get a handle on the basics they will get interested in the more complicated gardening activities.  By basics, I mean things like appropriate watering, effective use of mulch, edging beds and sidewalks, basic tree care, hedge maintenance, removal of ugly chain link fences, etc.  We want to help people feel comfortable with a brand of gardening/landscaping that is quite a few notches short of HGTV fantasy, and quite a bit cheaper, too.

We expect to employ tactics like spots on public access television, multi-lingual hand-outs for distribution at neighborhood meetings, short workshops at community meetings, neighborhood make-over days, etc.  We have a youth conservation corps to back up some of this stuff, so we think it has a good chance of having significant impact.

So....is anybody out there doing something like this?  We feel completely comfortable stealing ideas from others.  For that matter, we'll be happy to share some our successes and failures once we experience them.

Thanks for taking the time to think about this.

Jack N. Hale
Executive Director
Knox Parks Foundation
75 Laurel Street
Hartford, CT 06106
860/951-7694 x11

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