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Community Gardening is the Answer to Urban Blight

  • Subject: [cg] Community Gardening is the Answer to Urban Blight
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 18:13:35 EST
  • Content-language: en

Baltimore's mulch initiative is a start...but best way to stabilize 
neighborhoods by getting folks involved on a grassroots basis in the greening 
of their neighborhoods is community gardening.

Please go to these websites - read a bit, and see what mulching, planting, 
gardening and "growing community from the ground up" is all about.
 <A HREF="http://www.communitygarden.org/";>American Community Gardening 

 <A HREF="http://www.clintoncommunitygarden.org/";>Clinton Community Garden</A>

More than mulch, it's people and plants.

Best wishes,

Adam Honigman

<< Subj:     (Public.Spaces) Mulch Frequently the Answer to Urban Blight
 Date:  3/25/03 5:34:39 PM Eastern Standard Time
 From:  ksalay@pps.org (Katie Salay)
 Reply-to:  public.spaces@topica.com
 To:    public.spaces@topica.com
 What do you think about Baltimore's mulch initiative?
 Mulch Frequently the Answer to Urban Blight
 The Baltimore Sun
 They've tried "zero tolerance." They've tried empowerment zones. They've 
 tried demolishing public housing high-rises. Now, Baltimore officials 
 are trying the latest proposed cure for drug-ridden streets and urban 
 blight: garden mulch.
 Hoping to bring a fresher look and perhaps even a whiff of woods to some 
 of Baltimore's 12,573 vacant lots, a new program aims to scatter several 
 tons of mulch throughout the city's most dilapidated neighborhoods. 
 Mayor Martin O'Malley imported the earthy strategy from Chicago, hoping 
 that it will boost morale in city blocks besieged by crime and rubbish.
 "What I like best about the mulch is that it sends a signal, however 
 small, that we know a vacant lot is here in this neighborhood," O'Malley 
 said. "However small, the message is that City Hall is paying attention 
 to this little patch of earth."
 For a city with gaping holes in its housing stock, putting down mulch — 
 made by the city from dead and storm-damaged trees it clears from 
 properties — in its vacant spaces is a modest solution to an enormous 
 problem. Along with the vacant lots, Baltimore has 12,045 abandoned 
 houses, according to a recent estimate by the Baltimore Neighborhood 
 Indicators Alliance.
 Before the mulch is spread, vacant lots are cleaned of debris, trash and 
 used drug paraphernalia. Some of the lots will be landscaped with tiny 
 trees and faux wrought-iron black fences. Dozens more vacant lots will 
 be mulched this summer by the city's Recreation and Parks Department.
 Mulch, which keeps the ground warmer in winter and cooler in summer, 
 will break down into soil in a year or so, said Marion Bedingfield, the 
 city arborist. After that, it is not clear what the city intends to do 
 with the lots in the program. Whether some lots could be converted into 
 community garden plots has not been decided, city officials said.
 In Chicago, which put the mulch theory to work in the early 1990s, the 
 idea is used in all 50 city wards. It began as a way to keep weeds from 
 sprouting but grew into something much bigger.
 Al Sanchez, Chicago's commissioner of streets and sanitation, said 
 mulched lots — simple as they seem — help to improve a community.
 "They get rave reviews with the citizens. You can't believe the 
 response, it's so positive," Sanchez said. "It helps the whole 
 neighborhood. It might be a vacant lot, but it doesn't have to look like 
 a deplorable slum."  >>

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

To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

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