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Atlanta, GA: City to Nuture Community Gardens

  • Subject: [cg] Atlanta, GA: City to Nuture Community Gardens
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 20:10:02 EST

A nice piece on Atlanta Community  Gardens
The link:

Adam Honigman
City to nurture community  gardens

For the Journal-Constitution
Published on: 03/09/06
When Kat West moved to East Atlanta from Oregon eight years ago, one of  the
first questions she asked neighbors was "Where is the community  garden?"
The answers were blank stares.
"They had no idea what I was talking about," said West, an attorney for  the
Environmental Protection Agency. "Where I lived before, every  neighborhood
had one, and everyone was a part of it. It was how you made  friends."
West did her homework and learned that the majority of the 150  community
gardens under cultivation around the city belong to independent  neighborhood
groups. What was needed, she thought, was an umbrella  organization that
partnered with the city to support more community  gardens and to help more
So last year, she founded the Atlanta Community Gardens Coalition and  began
a push to get the city behind the concept.
Last week, the city approved a measure that will allow community and
neighborhood groups to use certain parklands for organic gardens. The  "Adopt
Community Garden" program will be coordinated by officials of  Park Pride and
In addition, Georgia Organics, a nonprofit group that promotes organic
gardening, will provide funding for three new gardens.
"You need three things for a garden: land, sun and water," said West,  who
works out her green thumb at an independent garden off Boulevard that  is near
her home.
"Now that we have this private-public partnership to support community
gardening, the city provides the land and the water. Georgia Organics
construction grants. And the coalition provides volunteers and  support to get
others started."
One of the first community gardens on city parkland got the green light  a
few weeks ago. Residents of East Atlanta established a garden of 13
plots in Brownwood Park, just a few blocks from the  neighborhood's commercial
hub: Flat Shoals and Glenwood avenues.
"We can stop in at the bar on the way to the garden," said green thumb  Laird
Ruth, who took over one of the Brownwood plots with his wife, Mary  Yetter.
"It's another way to create a sense of community b something that  brought
to East Atlanta in the first place."
The couple tried growing vegetables last year in their small and shady
backyard, but the results weren't as good as they'd expected.
"We don't have enough space for vegetables in the back, and it would be  hard
to tear up the front yard to make a true garden," Ruth said. "We're  very
happy to have another place for our lettuce, broccoli and  tomatoes."
All of Brownwood's 5-by-8-foot plots have been claimed, and there's a
waiting list of about six residents who want to dig in the dirt, too.
"It's an incredible opportunity, and people are very excited," Ruth  said.
"It's great to see space being made available for more gardens in  city parks.
The key thing is building community. This garden already has  allowed us to
make a lot of new friends and we hope to establish even  closer ties. It's
to have something like gardening to bring us  together."

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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