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Re: Philly studies shows positive financial impact of 'greening'

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Philly studies shows positive financial impact of 'greening'
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 20:14:09 EST

Not all "greening," converts into property value "green." 

What Mike Groman doesn't get, or want to express is that he believes that 
just greening, ie., planting stuff,  helps improve the property values of 
surrounding areas in cities. 

And by-passing those messy, politicized community gardeners.  As you know, 
Philadelphia Green has been de-emphasizing the "community" part of community 
gardening for a while under Mr. Groman's leadership. 

Not smart, Mr. Groman!

If you've been in the greening and public space game for a while you come to 
realize that public spaces and especially public green spaces only make sense 
when they are supported by lots of governmental funds, private conservancies 
or have lots of messy, dirty handed volunteer gardeners who invest those green 
spaces with their human presence, caring and patronage. 

In my lifetime: I remember when Manhattan's Central Park was a place that 
Johnny Carson made jokes about on national TV for it's decrepitude and high 
crime. When Manhattan's Riverside Park, Inwood Park, Madison Square Park, 
Morningside Park were dangerous places filled with broken glass, weeds and dog crap. 
And when lots filled with alianthus and native plants ( as well as rusted cars, 
garbage, junkies, drug dealers and gawd knows what else) were the rule and not 
the exception on my little island. 

And of course there has been the active contribution of community gardeners 
that has given to the City of New York the equivalent in the aggregate ( if you 
add up all of those 1/2 and 1/3 acres community gardens) of Central Park 
since 1978.  An act of greening and property value enhancement that has happened 
in Mr. Groman's own Philadelphia, if he decided NOT to denigrate the 
contributions of his own city's community gardeners. 

For the benefits of community gardens, one need only look at the  more 
substantive study produced by the Whitmire/Gateway Greening folks - 

Ya may want to hug a tree, but only in a cared for, maintained and safe 
public space. 

I remember when many of our Parks and green lots were akin to "green hells."

Then PEOPLE decided to INVEST those greenswards, greenspaces with HUMAN 

What Mr. Gorman seems to be simplistically saying is that a copse of trees 
and some bushes is enough to raise property values.  

Which is dead-on wrong.  

It's community involvement - either with the checkbook, groups of corporate 
volunteers painting benches and planting ( "giving back" is the corporate term) 
or from the grassroots by community garden volunteers that redeems the green 
spaces from being greened deserts and watelands. 

There are always some weeds - I'm sorry " native plants," in desolate lots.  
It's the active participation of PEOPLE in those lots that gives them the 
value add that raises property values. 

Adam Honigman

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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