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Re: Selling the Garden

My advice to all CGs seeking a new location and having to go though
with "convincing the masses on the value of community gardening" is 
to have a plan prior to meeting with the political types or those
in power.

Have hard-copy documentation available relating to:
1- The positive effects of your proposed CG on the surrounding community
2- CG responsible individuals (director, leader, etc.) A POC list.
3- Generalized garden layout (where exactly will it be located).
4- Garden Rules pertaining to hours, accessibility (i.e. locked gates), 
5- Who is eligible to take part in your garden?
6- Will there be a rental fee charged? How much?

These are just some ideas off the top of my head going forward. You must
realize that the CG must project a certain level of organization and 
responsibility.   Have a documented plan is a good start. 

Let's say the proposed garden area is currently a vacant lot whose turf
is managed by a city mower who takes about 5 minutes a week to maintain.
Now if the same area is now occupied by an overgrown garden visited by drug dealers/users or whatever, you can see how there may be some resistance to your presence.  You must convince those in power that you are bringing something of value to the table.  Something that other neighborhoods will look at and say "Hey, thats nice, it beautifies, it provides food, it creates positive social interaction among its residents, it promotes education about gardening and so on....".  The community must be enriched by the garden's presence. 

Worst Case Scenario:
You may have to agree to sign a 1 year lease stating that if the city
or community does not wish to continue the CG, you will vacate.
This will give you a chance to prove the value of the CG and give the city or whomever an out (reasons must be valid, oontinual public disturbance, overgrown/unkept landscape, loitering, etc.).  

I would advise starting off small and have something manageable. This will increase your chances of being successful. Baby Steps.... What About Bob? (movie)

There was a Larson cartoon years back depicting a happy guy rowing away
from a group of Eskimos on an iceberg.  Next to the Eskimos was a refrigerator.  The cartoon caption read something like this, "Bob Smith, World's Greatest Salesman".  Thats me.  

I can go on and on (getting off soapbox).

I hope this helps, good luck in your endeavors and
have a safe and happy holiday season,   
                   Jim Call, CASA Community Garden Volunteer Dir.

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: Samuel Feinson <SFeinson03@cityyear.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2002 15:50:37 -0500 

>Hey everyone,
>I'd first like to send a thank-you to everyone who sent me resources on
>starting up a garden.  While planning has gone well, the garden project that
>City Year is working on in Columbia, SC is experiencing a big hang-up.
>We've managed to talk to potential sponsors and received some positive
>feedback, but finding an actual location has been difficult.  Both
>low-income housing developments we've called are quite reluctant to give up
>the space, and the neighborhood we've focused on has community members that
>are, for one reason or another, resistant.
>We've scheduled a speaking time at one community meeting.  I've also put in
>some calls to city council.  Does anyone have good tips on selling the idea
>of a garden?

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