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RE: definition of community garden

  • Subject: RE: [cg] definition of community garden
  • From: "Corrie Zoll" czoll@greeninstitute.org
  • Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2003 10:16:20 -0600
  • Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
  • Thread-index: AcOj16r5N90met0XQw2lgo4CmvhchQAoeQ9A
  • Thread-topic: [cg] definition of community garden

>If you had to define community garden/-ing in one or two sentences, how would you do it? I'm curious how people's definitions vary.


*This question has been an issue here lately.


I define a community garden as common green space cared for by a group of individuals who use the space to meet the needs of their community.  The community might be a block club, a school, a church, a neighborhood, or some other defined group.  And the needs might be for food production, community building, beautification, environmental justice, crime prevention, or something else.


I have written before about the Dowling Community Garden here in Minneapolis, which celebrated its 60th anniversary this year.  As far as we know, Fenway Gardens in Boston is the only garden in the U.S. continually cultivated longer than Dowling, and that’s only by a few months.  The garden is on property owned by the Minneapolis School Board, and the school board is looking for places to build schools.  No one is quite sure how serious to consider this threat, but all agree that anything is possible.


The definition of community garden has been very important in addressing this threat.


This site covers 19 acres, and includes 150 individual plots, an orchard, and other green space.  The “garden group” defines itself as the 200+ people who have individual plots.  Their definition of the garden includes the plots only, and does not take into consideration the orchard and other green space.  But there are plenty of other people who use the garden as a dog park, as a safe play place for their children, or as a respite from the city.  These people want to protect the garden, too, and have formed their own group.  And I don’t need to tell you what happens when two different community groups organize around the same issue.  The turf battles have been small, but real, and the effort to preserve the garden ends up looking to outsiders as less organized and less unified.


Corrie Zoll




-----Original Message-----
From: Amanda Maria Edmonds [mailto:aedmonds@umich.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2003 1:59 PM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] definition of community garden


Here's a question for everyone...






Amanda Maria Edmonds


"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."

"To forget to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves."

- Mahatma Ghandi

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