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RE: request for text


First check out the American Community Gardening Association website. I'm
also attaching an email I got from a German group. Good luck!


Community Gardens meet Adventure Playgrounds & City Farms

Initiative for exchange and networking between organisations and projects of
the neighborhood and community movement in Europe and the U.S.

Oliver Ginsberg, Educational advisor of the Federation of Youth Farms and
Adventure Playgrounds (BdJA) 

		    German representative to the European Federation of City
Farms (EFCF)

Issued: january 31st 2000



Following the European conference of adventure playgrounds and city farms
"anima 21" which took place 19th-26th september last year in Berlin contacts
between European and American activists in the neighborhood and community
movement increased. Karl Linn, landscape architect and pioneer in community
design centers as well as the community gardening movement in the US
recently invited me and my collegue Anette Bull, a social pedagogue,
specializing in the work with animals, to help with developing a children's
city farm adjacent to an adventure playground in Berkeley, California. 

We also got invited by Tim Tyler, president of the ACGA to attend the annual
meeting in Atlanta from 7th-10th september this year. To improve the
ecological balance sheet of such a visit to the US, but also to promote
exchange and networking relations between organisations and projects in
Europe and the US we intend to spend more time in the US and get in contact
with as many local activists as possible during our visit. 

With this mail I am asking you to support this exchange visit by your
willingness to spend some time talking with us, showing us your project and
help us with accommodation. Similar to the community garden movement the
adventure playground and city farm movement in Europe is a grass roots
movement. Even though many projects have been able to acquire some sort of
public funding, organisations in this field still depend very much on
volunteering and do have little material resources. This is why your support
is decisive to the success of our visit. 

In the following I want to give you some information, which might convince
you that an exchange would be valuable for both sides.

Parallels and differences in the development of adventure playgrounds, city
farms and community gardens

Community gardens developed mostly during the last three decades of the past
millenium partly as a reaction to the deteriorating of ecological living
conditions within big cities but also to revitalize the old idea of
"community commons" against increasing privatization and commercialization
of public space. They often developed in densely populated, multiethical
parts of the cities supporting intercultural exchange as well as directly
contributing to positive living conditions and supportive environments for
disadvantaged people.

In this they show clear parallels to the development of adventure
playgrounds and city farms, which were founded mostly in the 70's and 80's.
In contrast however, adventure playgrounds and city farms were primarily
aiming at the development of young people (especially the age group of 6-14
xears, who suffer most from playscape deprivation). Many of them could be
secured by incorporation in a general plan and do receive some sort of
public funding. 

On the other hand community gardens have not risked the development towards
a stiff bureaucratic institution or an artificial pedagogical ghetto and it
is very likely that a lot of the young people in the neighborhood of
community gardens have profited from ecological as well as social
improvements connected to the collective design, use and management of such
community oriented open space.

A transatlantic exchange between organisations and projects could deliver
important insights and helpful inspirations for both sides

Within the EFCF the German Federation of Youthfarms and Adventure
Playgrounds (BdJA) has been cooperating for 10 years with organisations that
are involved in a variety of educational, social and community services. Our
partner organisation in the UK has recently united with community gardens to
become the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG - before:
National Federation of City Farms). Member projects of the BdJA have also
developed a variety of community oriented services or started as community
projects themselves. 

"Sustainable development" becoming a major theme in these projects provides
a common frame of reference, including ecological, social and economic
questions which can be addressed during the exchange process. Contributions
to sustainable development was also the "Leitmotiv" of the EFCF conference
"anima 21", which for the first time welcomed participants from Eastern
Europe as well as the US.

Our experiences with social and educational services on adventure
playgrounds and city farms, especially the use of animals in this work as
well as aspects of design and legal provisions could be of interest to local
community garden organisations in the US. In exchange we would be interested
to learn about your experiences in community work, mobilization of
volunteers and public support (e.g. media coverage, VIP involvement,
donations etc.).Together we might be able to develop an exchange programme
for young people in the future and other cooperative projects.

Agenda of an exchange visit

Children and young people, the upgrowing generations, the conditions in
which they grow up and their chances to develop their physical, mental and
social potentials are in the focus of our attention. What we can contribute
to a first exchange visit is:

*	A comprehensive slide collection documenting projects in Germany and
five other European countries (Denmark, the UK, the Netherlands, France and
Switzerland and some video documentaries (VHS which might have to be
transferred to US TV standards)


*	Results of systematic research on concepts and designs of projects
in the countries mentioned. Illustrating Graphics that could be presented by
overhead projection


*	Presentation of quality standards and a catalogue of services
developed for German projects in accordance to the Federal Children and
Youth Services Act (The major legal frame for funding of such projects in
Germany). This includes a card game designed to introduce individual


*	Presentation of selected design examples and services, including
participatory processes, international workcamps and services to school
groups with an emphasis on working with animals


*	Presentation of cooperative projects among European organisations


What we want to find out about community gardens during our visit in the US:

*	General contributions to sustainable development (ecological,
social, cultural and economic aspects)


*	Specific contributions to the development of children and young
people in the neighborhood (possibilities for open access play, social
contacts, nature experience and natural learning, participation in design
and management, taking over responsibility in their immediate environment)


*	Specific contributions to the inclusion of disadvantaged families or
special needs groups


*	Dealing with "difficult" developments (dominance of certain
individuals and groups, gentrification processes etc.)


*	Experiences in acquisition of suitable lots, mobilizing private and
public resources, securing sustainable management


*	Organisational structures and networking


*	Methods of quality management


*	International cooperation with related organisations and projects


Possibilities of future cooperation that we could work out together:

*	Common events/conferences


*	Setting up youth exchange and workcamp projects


*	Exchange of information / Internet




Time schedule

At the moment we plan to stay 12th august to 10th september with a possible
few days before and after. We will start our visit in Berkeley, California
and finish in Atlanta, Georgia travelling eastwards. If you want to invite
us, please keep in mind, that it will be hard for us to visit eastern states
before the end of august or western states after beginning of september.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and help !

If you have any further questions and/or suggestions please contact us any

Oliver Ginsberg 

Admiralstr. 16 

10999 Berlin 

phone: ++49-30-614 02 172  fax: - 02 173  

e-mail: ginsberg@blinx.de <mailto:ginsberg@blinx.de> 


Anette Bull

Seelingstr. 51

14059 Berlin

phone: ++49-30-321 02 414  fax: -02 415

e-mail: chinibull@t-online.de <mailto:chinibull@t-online.de>

Websites: <http://www.bdja.org>       <http://www.akib.de/> 

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Kristin Faurest [SMTP:kfaurest@hotmail.com]
> Sent:	Sunday, January 30, 2000 1:09 PM
> To:	community_garden@mallorn.com
> Subject:	[cg] request for text
> Hello everyone!
> I'm giving a presentation to a bunch of Hungarian NGOs in March about a 
> surplus food-collection program for the homeless I started here a few
> years 
> ago and I would like to transition the presentation into an introduction
> to 
> community gardens as a source of food and many other valuable things. Can 
> anyone suggest one good simple text or book or website that explains the 
> history and philosophy of the community gardening movement, concisely and 
> clearly? I'd like to have it translated into Hungarian if possible. If 
> anyone is in the position to mail something to me my address is:
> Kristin Faurest
> Rozsahegy utca 8
> Budapest, Hungary
> or you can e-mail me ideas at kfaurest@hotmail.com
> Thanks!
> ______________________________________________________
> Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
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