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Fwd: Project For Public Spaces Talk

  • Subject: [cg] Fwd: Project For Public Spaces Talk
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 23:56:39 EST



Subj: Project For Public Spaces Talk
Date: 10/31/04 12:55:56 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: Adam36055


File: A Guide to Community Garden Resources.ZIP (13619 bytes) DL Time (41333 bps): <1 minute

Friends,

This is for you to look over at your leisure.  The Project for Public Spaces, a nice group of folks who deal with pubic space and parks issues, turning around difficult urban spaces, and the setting up of urban markets ( farmer's markets, etc.) decided that a community gardener should speak to the city planning, parks, department of traffic and interested parties attending their workshop on how to turn a space around. I was the community gardener closest to hand, though they also toured Battery Park City, whose marvelous gardens and public spaces are managed by ACGA Board Member Tessa Huxley - whom I believe also spoke to the group at some point. I also have a bibliography on cg research, which I will also be forwarding to you as well.

For some background - The Project for Public Spaces website:

http://www.pps.org/

The conference where I spoke:

http://www.pps.org/info/ppsnews/httapa_training_course

And some of my stuff on their website:

http://www.pps.org/search/index?words=Adam+Honigman

A version of my community garden talk, and most recent community garden bibliography appear in  attachment form ( the talk  in plain text, appears under my signature on this e-mail.)

Everbest,
Adam Honigman

PPS Community Garden Talk ( Given in 6B Community Garden)   - September 28, 2004.
© 2004 Adam Honigman, steering committee member, Clinton Community Garden. 

Good afternoon. My name is Adam Honigman, and for better or worse, I've been involved in the creation and maintenance of community gardens since the 1970s.  I can talk on the subject for hours.  In lieu of this, I have brochures here from the American Community Gardening Association - association of 10,000 places like 6B Community Garden in the United States and Canada,  established in 1979, Green Thumb, the NYC Parks Community Garden dept, coordinating 500 gardens like this in the five boroughs of NYC, and the Clinton Community Garden, my home garden in Hell's Kitchen on West 48th Street, between 9th &10th Avenues, which is considered a model for successful, accessible community gardens,  internationally.

I've also set out copies of the Clinton Community Garden's By-laws, front and back garden key agreements, operating license and agreement with the NYC Dept of Parks for your perusal. The Clinton Community Garden, an amazing, 5,000 key holder, third of an acre garden, only 8 blocks from where the ball is dropped every New Year's eve in Times Square, is the most heavily used, and arguably most successful, community garden in NYC.

There is also a research bibliography, which I have also compiled for your use. My home e-mail is Adam36055@aol.com, and I will be delighted to copy you this talk, or answer your questions at depth as a member of the communications committee for the American Community Gardening Association. I will also be guiding a tour on Saturday, October 30th, 2004 at 1:00 p.m. in my home garden, the Clinton Community Garden on 48th between 9th &10th Avenues in Manhattan, and will be able to answer more questions there.

A definition: A community garden is a public garden created by some members of a community for the use and enjoyment of the community as a whole. It usually is developed on waste or borrowed land, may be just food producing, a public garden or a mixture of both. Unlike centrally planned municipal parks, community gardens grow organically from the neighborhoods they are developed in and are created by the people they serve. And unlike urban parks that can be built and nobody goes to, community gardens because of their ad-hoc nature are vulnerable and extremely accountable to the neighborhoods they serve. They have to "earn their stripes," every season in the public's perception.


"Historically, community gardening in this country's cities have always followed the boom and bust cycles of the economy, with gardens sprouting up during periods of stress and falling land values, then withering away when demands on the land became overwhelming. For instance, during the Great Depression, the City's welfare department and the federal Works Project Administration sponsored nearly 5,000 "relief" gardens on vacant city lots for unemployed people. But the project was canceled in 1937, when the USDA initiated its food stamp program for farm-surplus products. Though many immigrant families continued tending backyard plots, the gardening cause remained dormant until WWII, when the city announced that all available, city-owned land would be cultivated for Victory Gardens. Despite their success, these plots were abandoned at the close of the war, when the end of food rationing and a burgeoning frozen-food industry squelched the initiative of urban farmers."(Ferguson, S."A Short History of Neighborhood Greening in NYC)

By contrast, the community gardens that popped up like mushrooms during the 1970s were a grassroots, literally from the roots up movement.  In many US urban areas, the automobile fueled flight to the suburbs, institutional disinvestment and bank redlining with its resultant waves of arson and abandonment left cities with thousands of crumbling buildings and vacant, rubble-strewn lots. Littered with trash and rats, many burnt out lots became magnets for drugs, prostitution, and chop shops for stripping down stolen cars.

The same 1960's ecology movement zeitgeist that created rural communes, organic community gardens like the University of Wisconsin at Madison's "Eagle Heights Community Garden in 1962, blew into Manhattan's Lower East Side with a vengeance in 1973 when artist Liz Christy and activists from the nascent Green Guerillas began taking over abandoned lots and founded their first garden on the corner of Bowery and Houston. Where, according to Green Guerilla lore, " a few months earlier a couple of bums had been found frozen to death in a cardboard box. According to Bill Brunson, an early Green Guerilla, "You could not have picked a more unlikely place to start a garden. At the time, there were still all these men lined up along the Bowery drinking wine and panhandling. To put a garden there - in what was probably the ultimate slime spot in the city - that was unheard of."

This type of grassroots action was taking place, in one form or another, in urban areas all over the country. In NYC, due to the activism of the early Green Guerilla's, community gardens cascaded all over the five boroughs.  Everywhere, however, the same bureaucrats whose bone headed policies had lead in large part to the epidemic of urban disinvestment and ruin viewed community gardening as illegal. Greening groups, which had initially had gotten permission from Sanitation Departments to clean lots were later accused of trespassing. To make a long story short, in NYC and in cities all over the country, citizen gardeners were saying, "if you don't clean up these lots, you better build something on them, green them, or we will."

This type of grassroots action was taking place, in one form or another, in urban areas all over the country. In NYC, due to the activism of the early Green Guerilla's, community gardens cascaded all over the five boroughs.  Everywhere, however, the same bureaucrats whose bone headed policies had lead in large part to the epidemic of urban disinvestment and ruin viewed community gardening as illegal. Greening groups, which had initially had gotten permission from Sanitation Departments to clean lots were later accused of trespassing. To make a long story short, in NYC and in cities all over the country, citizen gardeners were saying, "if you don't clean up these lots, you better build something on them, green them, or we will."
By 1976, the efforts of NYC's Green Guerillas and the news of other urban agricultural initiatives across the country were beginning to win over government officials, like the flawed but visionary Brooklyn Congressman Fred Richmond. to the idea of community gardens. According to John Amoroso, whom some of you know from Cornell University's agricultural extension program, " Fred Richmond got funding in 1976 for a urban garden position for an extension agent,me, to the tune of around $15,000 of which $10,600 was my salary.  In 1977, the Urban Gardening Program was created with Federal funds going to 5 cities, and we expanded our program here hiring 4 more people like me, and also assistants and nutrition folks. By 1982 about 20 cities were involved, and when the Federal program ended (not technically ended, but monies distributed by a different formula) 25 cities were receiving funds.  A lot of the programs were continued after the funding ended, expenses absorbed by state county offices to keep Urban Horticulture programs going."

The American Community Gardening Association or the ACGA as most of us call it, is an organization that was founded in 1978 as a way for community gardeners, people who help community gardeners like extension agent John Amoroso, Liz Christy, Tessa Huxley and the like, and importantly, funders who are interested in community gardens, to get together to talk to each other, write to each other to exchange experience and advice communicate with each other on a multi-city and national basis. Through information exchange none of us should have to reinvent the wheel, and if someone has a better mousetrap, through communication, we all get them.  We are, for better or worse, the American &Canadian voice of community gardening in North America, and get listened to as such.  We also produce informational resources, books, videos, an annual magazine, the ACGA "Greening Review", a quarterly journal, "The Community Gardener," monographs, an information filled and informative website with zillions of links and a the ACGA master gardener's listserve (with archive) which answers over a thousand community gardener queries every year.  

You have to remember that when the ACGA was founded in 1978, it was a pre-computer world, and most community gardeners and national communication via telephone was prohibitively expensive - way beyond the budgets of the early garden programs. National conventions were planned so community gardeners from all over the U.S. and Canada.  could discuss best practices, ways of organizing and most importantly have a have a good time and a few drinks.
Now this big spiral book is really a magnum opus on how to grow community gardens and community garden leaders.  "Growing Communities: How to Build Communities Through Community Gardening" is a 300 page, in depth - exploration of the practices and strategies community organizers can use to develop dynamic leaders and create strong community garden programs using a participatory approach to community building.

This is an amazing collection of step by step lessons, lesson plans, strategies on everything from Diversity, Asset-Based Community Development, Community Organizing 101, Developing a Board of Directors, Meeting Facilitation and Decision Making, Grassroots Community Fundraising, Specific Strategies in Grassroots Fundraising and Coalition Building.  It is an amazing resource for any community organizer, especially public space renew-ers working with volunteers.

Questions?






--- Begin Message ---
  • Subject: Project For Public Spaces Talk
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004 12:55:56 EST
  • Full-name: Adam36055
June,

This is for you to look over at your leisure - it's me wearing my gardener, public space wonk hat.

For some background - The Project for Public Spaces website:

http://www.pps.org/

The conference where I spoke:

http://www.pps.org/info/ppsnews/httapa_training_course

And some of my stuff on their website:

http://www.pps.org/search/index?words=Adam+Honigman

A version of my community garden talk, and most recent community garden bibliography appear in  attachment form ( the talk  in plain text, appears under my signature on this e-mail.)

Everbest,
Adam Honigman

PPS Community Garden Talk ( Given in 6B Community Garden)   - September 28, 2004.
© 2004 Adam Honigman, steering committee member, Clinton Community Garden. 

Good afternoon. My name is Adam Honigman, and for better or worse, I've been involved in the creation and maintenance of community gardens since the 1970s.  I can talk on the subject for hours.  In lieu of this, I have brochures here from the American Community Gardening Association - association of 10,000 places like 6B Community Garden in the United States and Canada,  established in 1979, Green Thumb, the NYC Parks Community Garden dept, coordinating 500 gardens like this in the five boroughs of NYC, and the Clinton Community Garden, my home garden in Hell's Kitchen on West 48th Street, between 9th & 10th Avenues, which is considered a model for successful, accessible community gardens,  internationally.

I've also set out copies of the Clinton Community Garden's By-laws, front and back garden key agreements, operating license and agreement with the NYC Dept of Parks for your perusal. The Clinton Community Garden, an amazing, 5,000 key holder, third of an acre garden, only 8 blocks from where the ball is dropped every New Year's eve in Times Square, is the most heavily used, and arguably most successful, community garden in NYC.

There is also a research bibliography, which I have also compiled for your use. My home e-mail is Adam36055@aol.com, and I will be delighted to copy you this talk, or answer your questions at depth as a member of the communications committee for the American Community Gardening Association. I will also be guiding a tour on Saturday, October 30th, 2004 at 1:00 p.m. in my home garden, the Clinton Community Garden on 48th between 9th & 10th Avenues in Manhattan, and will be able to answer more questions there.

A definition: A community garden is a public garden created by some members of a community for the use and enjoyment of the community as a whole. It usually is developed on waste or borrowed land, may be just food producing, a public garden or a mixture of both. Unlike centrally planned municipal parks, community gardens grow organically from the neighborhoods they are developed in and are created by the people they serve. And unlike urban parks that can be built and nobody goes to, community gardens because of their ad-hoc nature are vulnerable and extremely accountable to the neighborhoods they serve. They have to "earn their stripes," every season in the public's perception.


"Historically, community gardening in this country's cities have always followed the boom and bust cycles of the economy, with gardens sprouting up during periods of stress and falling land values, then withering away when demands on the land became overwhelming. For instance, during the Great Depression, the City's welfare department and the federal Works Project Administration sponsored nearly 5,000 "relief" gardens on vacant city lots for unemployed people. But the project was canceled in 1937, when the USDA initiated its food stamp program for farm-surplus products. Though many immigrant families continued tending backyard plots, the gardening cause remained dormant until WWII, when the city announced that all available, city-owned land would be cultivated for Victory Gardens. Despite their success, these plots were abandoned at the close of the war, when the end of food rationing and a burgeoning frozen-food industry squelched the initiative of urban farmers."(Ferguson, S."A Short History of Neighborhood Greening in NYC)

By contrast, the community gardens that popped up like mushrooms during the 1970s were a grassroots, literally from the roots up movement.  In many US urban areas, the automobile fueled flight to the suburbs, institutional disinvestment and bank redlining with its resultant waves of arson and abandonment left cities with thousands of crumbling buildings and vacant, rubble-strewn lots. Littered with trash and rats, many burnt out lots became magnets for drugs, prostitution, and chop shops for stripping down stolen cars.

The same 1960's ecology movement zeitgeist that created rural communes, organic community gardens like the University of Wisconsin at Madison's "Eagle Heights Community Garden in 1962, blew into Manhattan's Lower East Side with a vengeance in 1973 when artist Liz Christy and activists from the nascent Green Guerillas began taking over abandoned lots and founded their first garden on the corner of Bowery and Houston. Where, according to Green Guerilla lore, " a few months earlier a couple of bums had been found frozen to death in a cardboard box. According to Bill Brunson, an early Green Guerilla, "You could not have picked a more unlikely place to start a garden. At the time, there were still all these men lined up along the Bowery drinking wine and panhandling. To put a garden there - in what was probably the ultimate slime spot in the city - that was unheard of."

This type of grassroots action was taking place, in one form or another, in urban areas all over the country. In NYC, due to the activism of the early Green Guerilla's, community gardens cascaded all over the five boroughs.  Everywhere, however, the same bureaucrats whose bone headed policies had lead in large part to the epidemic of urban disinvestment and ruin viewed community gardening as illegal. Greening groups, which had initially had gotten permission from Sanitation Departments to clean lots were later accused of trespassing. To make a long story short, in NYC and in cities all over the country, citizen gardeners were saying, "if you don't clean up these lots, you better build something on them, green them, or we will."

This type of grassroots action was taking place, in one form or another, in urban areas all over the country. In NYC, due to the activism of the early Green Guerilla's, community gardens cascaded all over the five boroughs.  Everywhere, however, the same bureaucrats whose bone headed policies had lead in large part to the epidemic of urban disinvestment and ruin viewed community gardening as illegal. Greening groups, which had initially had gotten permission from Sanitation Departments to clean lots were later accused of trespassing. To make a long story short, in NYC and in cities all over the country, citizen gardeners were saying, "if you don't clean up these lots, you better build something on them, green them, or we will."
By 1976, the efforts of NYC's Green Guerillas and the news of other urban agricultural initiatives across the country were beginning to win over government officials, like the flawed but visionary Brooklyn Congressman Fred Richmond. to the idea of community gardens. According to John Amoroso, whom some of you know from Cornell University's agricultural extension program, " Fred Richmond got funding in 1976 for a urban garden position for an extension agent,me, to the tune of around $15,000 of which $10,600 was my salary.  In 1977, the Urban Gardening Program was created with Federal funds going to 5 cities, and we expanded our program here hiring 4 more people like me, and also assistants and nutrition folks. By 1982 about 20 cities were involved, and when the Federal program ended (not technically ended, but monies distributed by a different formula) 25 cities were receiving funds.  A lot of the programs were continued after the funding ended, expenses absorbed by state county offices to keep Urban Horticulture programs going."

The American Community Gardening Association or the ACGA as most of us call it, is an organization that was founded in 1978 as a way for community gardeners, people who help community gardeners like extension agent John Amoroso, Liz Christy, Tessa Huxley and the like, and importantly, funders who are interested in community gardens, to get together to talk to each other, write to each other to exchange experience and advice communicate with each other on a multi-city and national basis. Through information exchange none of us should have to reinvent the wheel, and if someone has a better mousetrap, through communication, we all get them.  We are, for better or worse, the American & Canadian voice of community gardening in North America, and get listened to as such.  We also produce informational resources, books, videos, an annual magazine, the ACGA "Greening Review", a quarterly journal, "The Community Gardener," monographs, an information filled and informative website with zillions of links and a the ACGA master gardener's listserve (with archive) which answers over a thousand community gardener queries every year.  

You have to remember that when the ACGA was founded in 1978, it was a pre-computer world, and most community gardeners and national communication via telephone was prohibitively expensive - way beyond the budgets of the early garden programs. National conventions were planned so community gardeners from all over the U.S. and Canada.  could discuss best practices, ways of organizing and most importantly have a have a good time and a few drinks.
Now this big spiral book is really a magnum opus on how to grow community gardens and community garden leaders.  "Growing Communities: How to Build Communities Through Community Gardening" is a 300 page, in depth - exploration of the practices and strategies community organizers can use to develop dynamic leaders and create strong community garden programs using a participatory approach to community building.

This is an amazing collection of step by step lessons, lesson plans, strategies on everything from Diversity, Asset-Based Community Development, Community Organizing 101, Developing a Board of Directors, Meeting Facilitation and Decision Making, Grassroots Community Fundraising, Specific Strategies in Grassroots Fundraising and Coalition Building.  It is an amazing resource for any community organizer, especially public space renew-ers working with volunteers.

Questions?




Attachment: A Guide to Community Garden Resources.ZIP
Description: Zip archive


--- End Message ---




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