Growing to Green community garden awards in Columbus, Ohio-intro
- Subject: [cg] Growing to Green community garden awards in Columbus, Ohio-intro
- From: Don Boekelheide firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 19:30:04 -0800 (PST)
Columbus Dispatch, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Sunday, January 29, 2006
(forwarded by Bill Dawson)
CULTIVATING A COMMUNITY I
Flowers and vegetables serve larger purposes of
Stories by Robin Chenoweth
People who witness everyday miracles of growth a
sprouting seed, a blooming flower are connected by a
universal truth. Mere humans can intervene in a
process that has operated without us since time began.
Not long ago, everyone lived by that precept.
Then people moved to cities and turned their backs on
Weve lost a generation of gardeners," said Bill
Dawson, who promotes community gardening for the
Franklin Park Conservatory. For my mothers
generation, it was easier to go to the grocery store,
easier to not garden."
Although some people have forgotten gardenings joys,
Dawson and others see it as a catalyst for community
change. They believe that every child can savor the
sweetness of a freshly picked tomato, that neighbors
regardless of differences can swap growing tips and
collard greens over the back fence. Tom Shaw holds
leeks that were pulled from a Mount Sterling farm.
Others agree. Throughout central Ohio, neighbors come
together in the care of community gardens. More than
60 group gardens are planted throughout Columbus,
Dawson said, their seeds and time donated. They grow
in schoolyards, beside civic centers and in urban
neighborhoods. A community garden is an oasis where
people come together, not only to garden but also to
get to know each other," Dawson said.
Each garden profiled today won the conservatorys
Growing to Green Award, which honors the spirit of
They were chosen because their caretakers harnessed
nature to instill pride in neighborhoods. They
overcame ethnic boundaries so that many can reap the
benefits of healthful food and beautiful flowers. They
crossed generational lines so children can draw upon
experience of elders.
One gardener, Kwodwo Ababio, likened the gardens to
sankofa, a west African concept symbolized by a bird
facing forward but looking behind:
We have to go back to go forward; we must learn from
the old tradition to move ahead."
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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