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plastic lumber and government support of CGs

  • Subject: [cg] plastic lumber and government support of CGs
  • From: Julie Berbiglia julieb@ScarrittBennett.org
  • Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 09:37:59 -0600

Plastic lumber: I for one support the development of uses for plastic lumber. As long as we buy things in plastic containers we need to support some type of recycled plastic product. One way or the other landfills are going to fill up. If we can recycle and reuse plastic then we at least have given it a longer life span before it becomes useless to us. On the other hand, I would be a bigger supporter of NOT purchasing plastic packaged products whenever possible and thus cutting down on their use.
Government support of CGs: A couple of gardens in Nashville, TN have received grants from the city's office of neighborhoods for specific, time limited projects -- hardscape (benches, pathways), hoop house to grow tomato plants. These grants enable the gardens to complete specific projects and still remain self-reliant and self-directed. Some of the gardens are on government property - Dept. of Education land, Dept. of Transportation easement along an interstate, and adult learning center campus. Given the tales from the cities I have been reading about on this list, I feel strongly that government support needs to be a last option for community gardens if they are to survive in the long run. If you own the garden property then it cannot be taken from you, obviously. If you pay the water, purchase the tools, etc. then you don't need reoccurring government financial support. I suggest that CGs have goals to purchase their land, or to have neighborhood associations purchase the land so as to maintain control over it. This is yet another reason for only starting CGs in areas that have immediate buy-in from area residents. Too  many gardens in Nashville have failed over the years because they were started by people from outside of the neighborhood and failed to get resident support. It is one of the worst failing of liberalism to give people something "because it is good for them" when they don't see it as a priority need for themselves. As much as I love community gardens, I have to admit that many times a community has greater needs -- freedom from violence, decent housing, transportation to jobs, child care, education -- sure, CGs help with these issues but I can't see telling someone who is worried about a child dodging bullets every day that a garden should be their greatest desire! (just a few soapbox thoughts on this winter morning...)
Julie Berbiglia
Organic Garden Coordinator
Scarritt-Bennett Center
1008 19th Avenue South
Nashville, TN  37212-2166

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