RE: quality of life indicators
As everyone on the list probably knows by now, the Clinton Community Garden
is located in the middle of Hell's Kitchen in NYC on a block that used to be
one of the worst in the city for crime, drugs, prositution and a few choice
murders. The very hard working 47th-48th Street block association and the
Clinton Community Garden have worked in tandem with the block's residents,
city agencies, elected and appointed officials to bring the block around.
Here's our website if you're interested:
Now what has the garden done to improve the neighborhood?
1) The Clinton Community Garden serves a huge cachement area: If you live or
work between 8th Avenue and the Hudson River - between 34th Street and 59th
Street and can prove it ( a Utility Bill &/or ID works) you can get a key to
the garden. You read the rules, fill out a form agreeing to follow them, pay
$5.00 for the Medico key and you're in. We have well over 2000 garden
keyholders ( when we do our final count, we may be close to 3000.) This is
kind of amazing for a space that's only 100 X 150 feet large.
2) We sponsor citywide gardening events, like our summer solstice event
where community gardeners from all over the city converge to celebrate,
3) The CCG hosts cultural events, dance concerts, chamber music, poetry
readings, weddings, memorial services & countless picnic birthday parties.
To avoid conflicts and over utilization of our two lawn spaces, events
applications have to be submitted to the steering committee for any
gathering of 10 or more persons. These are voted on and scheduled at the
Garden's monthly meetings. We always make ourselves available for Manhattan
Community Board 4 parties when they ask to use the space ( usually it's for
goodbye parties for board chairs.)
4) We provide the neighborhood with an accessible, secure, drug and crime
free zone. Our highly attractive garden has graffiti free benches, a grape
arbor, regularly reseeded non-toxic lawns, varied and interesting flower
and native plant beds, an active bee hive, and an herb garden where
residents can cut sprigs of herbs during the season for their own use. We
have front garden compost bins where neighborhood residents can recycle
vegetable & plant material. The Clinton Community Garden is a multiethnic
meeting place ( our garden rules are posted in English, Spanish and Arabic)
a place where folks come to breathe. In an area with huge traffic, the
gated CCG functions as a genuine "breathing space" for the community.
5) The Clinton Community Garden provides gardening and volunteer
opportunities to the neighborhood. The 108 individual garden plots in our
rear garden are assigned by wait list. The wait list always has at least 50
names on it. The front garden beds are tended by groups of volunteers who
try to maintain visual interest and beauty from spring to late fall with
6) The Clinton Community Garden is a "Neighborhood Wildlife Refuge" and is a
birders paradise because of the vast variety of migrating birds we get.
7) I wish we had a video camera directed towards our garden gates. The look
of amazement on people's faces when they walk past the garden and look
through the fence for the first time is indiscribable. I'd also like a
picture of the characters who pee on the roses, throw in the odd whisky
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Laura Berman [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2000 10:16 PM
> To: ACGA listserve
> Subject: [cg] quality of life indicators
> Hi Everyone,
> We're in the middle of garden cleanup time, as I'm sure most of you are
> also.To me this also means garden evaluation time.
> Can I ask everyone to share the questions that you ask gardeners when
> evalutating cg programs? I think that getting a handle on how community
> gardening affects people and communities, nutritionally, physically and
> emotionally, is one of the hardest things to quantify and one of the most
> important for our continuation. Non-cg people always want to know how a cg
> improves the community and the person and how much money is saved.
> I know that a recent Greening Review covered this topic but it didn't
> provide evaluation tools. Figuring out what questions to ask, and how to
> them, to best elicit quantifiable anecdotes / quality of life indicators,
> quite a technique and one that improves with experience.
> Let's share our experience with one another. I will compile everything you
> care to send in and then put them in some sort of format that is available
> to all. If you don't care to post them to the listserve, you can email or
> mail them directly to me.
> Laura Berman
> FoodShare Toronto
> 238 Queen St.West
> Toronto, Ontario
> Canada M5V 1Z7
> T:(416) 392-1668
> F: (416) 392-6650
> E: email@example.com
> W: www.foodshare.net
> community_garden maillist - firstname.lastname@example.org
community_garden maillist - email@example.com