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Fwd: RE: Your comments in the Inquirer

  • Subject: [cg] Fwd: RE: Your comments in the Inquirer
  • From: "Libby J. Goldstein" <libby@igc.org>
  • Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 20:09:27 -0500

Title: Fwd: RE: Your comments in the Inquirer
Status:  U
Subject: RE: Your comments in the Inquirer
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 18:20:34 -0500
Thread-Topic: Your comments in the Inquirer
Thread-Index: AcQKx7OXK1wxwGpNQ+CSytWefr3/wgA3cDHA
From: "Mike Groman" <mgroman@Pennhort.org>
To: "Libby J. Goldstein" <libby@igc.org>
Cc: <garlicgrower@earthlink.net>,
       "Blaine Bonham" <bbonham@Pennhort.org>,
"Jane Pepper" <jpepper@Pennhort.org>
Libby and Doreen:
Unfortunately, newspaper articles sometimes skip over the full context of the conversation, which triggers responses such as yours.  So here goes my explanation....  
Believe me, in no way was I denegrating the value of community gardens as tools to revitalize neighborhoods.  Community gardens are wonderful resources.  They have a full array of positive physical, social, and environmental impacts that few other community development efforts offer. The Philadelphia Green Program is rooted in community gardens and will always stay connected to the cause.
The simple point I was trying to make with the reporter was that the city has a tremendous vacant land problem....31,000 vacant lots and counting.  And, with a problem of this scope and scale, community gardening is not the most effective tool.  A more broad based systemic approach that requires a significant level of investment and commitment from the city is also needed.  From our perspective, based on the work Philadelphia Green has been doing over the past 7 years, this "clean and green" model of treating vacant land is proving to be a cost effective means to remove blight and improve the living conditions in neighborhoods across the city.  More importantly, it's being done at a scope and scale that begins to make a significant dent in the problem....not just lots at a time, but acres at a time.  The reponse from the neighbors has been tremendously positive. Hope is being restored.
Of course more is needed....more gardens are needed, more street trees are needed, increased investment in neighborhood parks is needed.  That's why PHS is doing what we can to promote a Green City Strategy...calling for significant investment in all forms of urban open spaces, including community gardens, as a means to attract people back to the city and attract investment in the city.
I hope this helps.  And certainly, feel free to call me if you'd like to discuss this further (e-mails can sometimes add an unnecessary "edge" to the conversation....).
Michael W. Groman, Director
Philadelphia Green Program
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
100 N. 20th St.
Philadelphia, PA   19103
215-988-8810 (fax)
-----Original Message-----
From: Libby J. Goldstein [mailto:libby@igc.org]
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2004 2:57 PM
To: Mike Groman
Cc: garlicgrower@earthlink.net
Subject: Your comments in the Inquirer

I can't agree more with Doreen.

We all understand how corporate PHS has become (if not the reasoning behind it all), but that's no reason to dis the rest of us. Gardens do bring communities together, and continue to provide food which in these days of mounting unemployment and economic disparity is perhaps more important than in the depression of the '70's.


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