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RE: How to Start, get Participants

  • Subject: RE: [cg] How to Start, get Participants
  • From: "Jack N. Hale" <jackh@knoxparks.org>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 08:30:49 -0400
  • Importance: Normal

The good news is that you are in roughly the same place as everybody else
who ever wanted to start a community garden.  First, read "Starting a
Community Garden" from the ACGA web site (www.communitygarden.org).  Then
get some people - my rule of thumb is to start with 10 because you will lose
a few along the way.  If people spend much of their time at church, then
maybe church is the way to reach them.  If you don't have enough people,
then the task remains to get those people.  Ask your neighborhood chair and
the one person who showed up at the last meeting to each bring one or two

Your problem may well be that, as you say, it is the norm for your
organization to start things and that you do most of the work for people.
For those of us who like to help others, it is difficult, but we need to
learn not to do that.  We can assist people but we can't do things for
them - otherwise they get weak and we get frustrated.  We do need to teach,
to show people how great a garden can be and to let them know that they can
do it.  From what I saw at the conference, there are bunches of gardens in
Utah.  Throw some people in your car and go to visit one.  Talk to people
there.  Have one of those gardeners come to your community meeting.  Show
the ACGA video to people (also available through the web site).

Your idea of engaging kids is great.  You might also think about a school
connection.  If people plan a garden near a school, children and teachers
can become a big part of the project.

Keep up the good work.

Jack Hale

-----Original Message-----
From: community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
[mailto:community_garden-admin@mallorn.com]On Behalf Of ollie
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2001 10:44 PM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] How to Start, get Participants

I just returned from the municiple session of the conference in SLC
today. My neighborhood chair and I are enthusiastic about starting the
program in Provo, Utah.
However, in my neighborhood I find it so difficult to get help for any
of my nonprofit's activities. Gardens need to be tended and I'm not sure
we could get the dependable volunteer base to keep it going when our
neighborhood meeting last week had just 1 resident. There are many
Latino families in the neighborhood also but they tend to keep to
themselves because of language barrier and not wanting to be discovered
if they aren't legal. We sometimes get Spanish versions of things but I
haven't seen any response.

So, anyway, how do you start? who do you need to recruit first? how many
people do you need? I wish I could've attended more of the conference to
learn the nuts and bolts. I want the neighborhood to start the process
and not us, as is the norm. We do most the work for people.

It seems like in this community there are many stay-at-home moms with
young children. Maybe if we made it kid-friendly we could get whole
families out? (Family Night at the Garden).

overall neighborhood makeup: mostly very conservative (sometimes
anti-government), often low education levels and low income levels.
Church activities take up a lot of people's time as does raising young
families. The people who care about the neighborhood tend to be

I just joined the list. I learned about it after speaking with Anna at
the end of the session.

thanks for your help,
VISTA for Neighborhood Housing Services of Provo

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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