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RE: Community Garden Proposal

  • Subject: RE: [cg] Community Garden Proposal
  • From: "Honigman, Adam" <Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com>
  • Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2001 14:17:45 -0400


The corrollary to "community gardening is 50% gardening & 100% political" is
" all politics are local." Off the top of my head, it looks too good to be
true - but I'm a paranoid, shell-shocked New Yorker. I have a congenital
difficulty in believing that elected and appointed city officials anywhere
can deal rationally and in an enlightened fashion with community gardens.
That caveat aside, I have a few modest suggestions:

1) Montreal, the exception to the rule has included a community garden in
the overall planning of their world famous Jardin Botanique. Most of the
funding of the entire Montreal Garden comes from the municipality with
charitable gifts. If the Huntsville, Alabama Botanic Garden is similarly
funded or organized, I'd suggest a kind of official association of the CASA
garden program with the Huntsville, Alabama garden. This will make it harder
to whittle away the CASA when the city administration changes, when yuppies
want garden view apartments. If the CASA board and the Huntsville Botanic
Garden have board members in common, this association could be discussed in
an informal way - to see if the ladies who love bonsai, orchids and displays
of wisteria would mind co-habiting with urban dirt farmers. Otherwise, I'd
invite Huntsville Botanic Garden board members to your current site for a
horse-and-pony show.

2) The new garden space must be completely constructed, with all the goodies
promised, before CASA moves from it's current location. Your most precious
resource is volunteers, not land. You can't have them lose interest by a
hiatus in their activity. No people, no community garden/

3) I would reach out to Ellen Kirby the incoming president of the ACGA and
Brooklyn Botanic Garden's  Green Bridge director. This lady is superbly
qualified in both the worlds of the community garden and the World Class
Botanic Garden. Kirby is also an inspiring manager of volunteers. Throw in
the fact that she is ( I believe) a southerner, I could not think of anyone
better to consult on this garden move/Botanical garden consolidation.
Honestly, for a project of this scope, and because Kirby is an almost
uniquely qualified individual, I'd suggest that the city of Huntsville pay
her a professional consultant's fee and expenses. There are, of course other
highly qualified folks on the ACGA board, but the words "President" and
"Brooklyn Botanic Garden" may increase the city and Botanical Garden's
comfort levels.

4) You need a damn good lawyer to represent you and CASA during the
negociation process on a pro-bono basis ( say to the city, "I need someone
to help explain this all to me, this way I won't do anything stupid or
expensive.This is the biggest thing I've ever done. Is Mr. X of Dewey ,
Cheatem and Howe acceptable to you as a partner in this process?"

5) Good luck, and please let us know how you are progressing.

Adam Honigman

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim.Call [mailto:Jim.Call@dynetics.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2001 4:14 PM
To: Community Gardening Listserv
Subject: [cg] Community Garden Proposal

To all,
I've just returned from a meeting with city officials discussing the
relocation of the CASA
Community Garden (Huntsville, Alabama).  Its seems, as many CG, that we are
not exactly what city planners are looking for in our current location (a
high tech research park which is owned by the city), so someday soon, we
will have to relocate.

But because of our huge garden success, they are being real careful about
this relocation/eviction because of the great community support.

They have proposed the following to CASA.....
               Move us next to the city's botanical garden (urban
               Install high fence to guard the garden from vandals, thieves
               Install/Maintain underground sprinkler system
               Build common pavilion
               Build restroom facilities
               Design and install professional landscaping
               Build storage facility for gardening materials
               Build unique entryway to garden (maybe huge scarecrow to be
lit up at night).
               Provide proper signage
               Maintain turf area
               Install electricity
               Provide regular garbage pickup
               Prep soil area, adding composted amendments prior to moving
               Relocate the existing garden materials to new facility
               Provide regular police patrols
               Provide parking lot (gravel at first)
               Provide proper night time lighting (parking lot, entryway)
               Provide composted mulch as needed
               Till up garden in spring/fall (as required)
               99 year lease agreement (Yes, Yes, Yes site permanency)
               Provide the space to double the size of the existing garden

The above items are at no expense to CASA. CASA will operate the facility
(via volunteers).

It was told to me in this manner, "We want to create a community garden to
be used as a model for other cities to follow". I guess this will be a
"partnership" between a non-profit organization, CASA and the city.

Ok Adam H.  What do you think? Should we risk being evicted in a few years,
look for a better location/deal or take them up on this offer?

Our CASA Board of Directors has to make the final decision.

                  I must have died and gone to heaven,  Jim Call, Volunteer
CASA Garden Director

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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