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Re: state of gardening in major cities

  • Subject: Re: [cg] state of gardening in major cities
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 12:34:37 EDT

Dear Geoff,

I'm sorry that you're given yourself only one day to get this grant proposal together, because the modern North American Community Gardening movement really needs a comprehensive US and Canada research survey, and as grant parameters are often set in stone, you might overlook an imporantly needed area for research that a couple more days of looking might have included.

That said, make yourself a pot of black coffee, make sure there is plenty of paper in your printer, and prepare to read and print alot. Also open up a new page in WORD, so you have a place to " cut and paste" language you need for your proposal. This will serve as an area to draw upon for your proposal when you are writing the rough draft this evening, <lol>.

Oh well, here goes nothing....

1) Read and download this PDF, immediately:



2) Go to the American Community Gardening website ( American Community Gardening Association  ) read carefully and print all the material. The community garden links section is amazingly filled with information:  ( ACGA Links ) Read it all.

3) A short list of Community Gardening Studies is listed here
( http://www.communitygarden.org/links.php#Studies  ) .

4)  If you have money on your credit card, I'd suggest that you attend the ACGA convention in Toronto ( ACGA Conference) where many of the living repositories of the information you need will be, and with a series of release forms, a cam-corder, audio recorder and notebook, you could assemble a great deal  of your raw research materials and invaluable contacts in about three days.

5) Another source of information is the archive of the American Community Gardening Association list serve maintained by Mallorn Computing -

( ACGA Archives )

6) Here is a link to the Whitmire Study on the Gateway Greening Community Gardening website. It is a magesterial study of community gardens and their effect on St. Louis Communities, a very big thing for the community gardening community - QUANTIFIABLE STATISTICS.  ( Whitmire Study )

7) Probably the best early book on Boston's Community Gardens in the early years is by Boston University's Sam Bass Warner, Jr's. "To Dwell is To Garden", Boston, Northwestern University Press, 1987, (ISBN: 1-55553-007-9)

8) The best written, one volume treatment of community gardening remains,
Jobb, J.  (1979).  The Complete Book of Community Gardening.  New York: 
William Morrow and Co. Every time I get the bug to write one, I just pick
Jobb's book and realize that even after 23 years, it's hard to beat for
historical context and down to earth, practical advice. Because this book is
so good, it's usually missing from most public libraries (i.e.,  "Steal this
Book!" ) I obtained my copy from Amazon.

9) Another fine cg book that you'll find missing from your in local library is

A Handbook of Community Gardening
By Boston Urban Gardeners - Edited By Susan Naimark
Charles Scribner's Sons - New York 1982
SB457.3.H26 635  81-23302

ISBN 0-684-17466-9  AACR2

10) This is the Amazon link to "Grace from the Garden : Changing the World One Garden at a Time" by Debra Landwehr Engle which you must read, as it has in-depth pieces on community gardens and the people who make them happen from all over the USA. A Rodale Publication,  is in print.

( Grace from the Garden )

11)  To save time, here is a cut and pasted reply of to a similar query I cranked out a couple of years ago.  The researcher wanted to do a NYC based study because he was Cornell University Based.  The contacts here will be useful, but you will have to do this kind of research in all of your cities.

" I've sent you some personal contact information off-list re zoning and gardens in Hell's Kitchen.

Before you get down to NYC, you must read Malve von Hassel's "The Struggle for Eden: CommunityGardens in New York" by Malve von Hassell, Bergin & Garvey; Greenwood Publishing Group. 2002" which was reviewed in the latest issue of "HortIdeas." It's an expensive book, but it might be in the reserve collection at UB. I'm sure that Cornell has a copy - see if it's available by Inter-University loan. Von Hassell's other book, , "Homesteading in NYC, 1978-1993: The Divided Heart of Loisaida" Bergin & Garvey 1999 ISBN: 0-89789-651-3 provides a good cultural background on the lower east side neighborhood. Both should give you a sense of context for your planning study. Of course can find both books at a good University library or the Greenwood Publications website http://www.greenwood.com , searching under author.
Some homework for anyone who wants to understand how we can have 800 community gardens in NYC, on some of the most overvalued real-estate in the world.
1) Here is the website of the NYC Dept of City Planning ("NYDCP") which has a number of highly valuable links.  You may have to download Adobe Acrobat to print sections that you want, but that program is usually available free of charge: http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/dcp/home.html

2) Here  is the Web version of the Zoning Resolution of the City of New York which includes all text amendments approved by the City Council up to September 25, 2002. Please note that there is an interim period between the date when the City Council adopts a text or mapping amendment to the Zoning Resolution and the date that this web site is updated.  These are the "rules of baseball" and it's best to make yourself a pot of tea and read. If it makes your eyes glaze over, not to worry, it does that to $500 an hour real estate attorneys.  Low rent volunteer   http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/dcp/html/subcats/zoning.html
3) This is Article IX: Special Purpose Districts, Chapter 6 "Special Clinton District" as amended 12/19/01. What is written ( and isn't written) in Article IX, Chapter 6 explains why the creation of third of an acre Clinton Community garden was possible in the midst of midtown Manhattan.   
4) This is the website of the Clinton Community Garden , http://www.clintoncommunitygarden.org - the historical section can give you some of the reason why this small piece of "citizen managed public green space" (a definition that some folks belive that I coined - been saying it so long, it might be true ;) ) is the only community garden listed in the NYS attorney general's settlement memorandum as premanent parkland. 
5) From NY State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer's web page:
The Community Garden Settlement:
The list of gardens covered under the settlement by borough:
6) You need to also read posting made to this listserve by Lenny Librizzi, myself and others on this community garden settlement, the NYS parkland issue, etc.  In fact, if you go back through 2000 and read forward on this issue, you will have an interesting archive on how this land use issue was resolved.
If you are doing due dilligence on your report, you need to contact these busy people and not expect them to contact you from this listserve. You're going to have to be proactive about this; Only by contacting all of them will you get a sense of what the whole elephant looks like.  Yeah, you can say that I suggested that you contact them.  Some like me, some don't - most should give you the time of day.
7) In formation: you  should try to contact the nice folks at Green Thumb ( Edie Stone and crew)http://www.greenthumbnyc.org/ ; the Council for the Environment ( Lenny Librizzi and Gerard Lordahl) http://www.cenyc.org/ ; The Trust for Public Land in NYC ( go to New York, then NYC programs - Joanne Morse) http://www.tpl.org/ ; The New York Restoration Project ( Joseph Puppello)  http://www.nyrp.org/ ; Green Guerillas ( Steve Frillman, Ximena Naranjo) http://users.rcn.com/ggsnyc/ ; The Neighborhood Open Space Coalition ( Dave Lutz and Toby Brandt) http://www.treebranch.com/nosc/ ; Brooklyn Greenbridge Director and ACGA President Ellen Kirby is an important source: http://www.bbg.org/gar2/topics/urban/greenbridge/index.html ; Carolyn Ratcliffe at La Plaza Cultural is an excellent person to contact re LES community gardening: http://www.laplazacultural.org/ ;  More Gardens! ( Aresh Jahadi /Mark Leger - I don't always see things the way that they do, but their take is legitimate and both are advocates for community gardens) http://www.moregardens.org/moregardens/ .
8) The Cornell University Garden Mosaics program has collected a great deal of information that could be key to your understanding of what community gardens do in NYC:
Good luck with your thesis:
Adam Honigman
Volunteer, Clinton Community Garden

Subj: [cg] state of gardening in major cities
Date: 9/30/04 10:51:13 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: geoff_davenport@fastmail.us
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Sent from the Internet

Hello All,

I'm a student at New York University, working on a grant proposal (due
tomorrow) to study community gardening.  I've got plenty of information
available to me on the state of community gardening in New York City,
but I want to learn more (and make some references in my proposal) to
community gardening in other major cities in the U.S.  I'm particularly
interested in high density urban settings (like NYC) in which pressure
from developers has led to battles over permanence of community gardens
(like NYC).  From what I've gathered thus far, some interesting things
have happened and are going on in Chicago and Seattle, but I don't have
a great deal of detail.

Any information you can provide will be helpful.  I'm particularly
interested in newspaper articles, reports from public or nonprofit
sources, or even academic scholarship.

Geoff Davenport

Geoffrey Davenport                  Mobile:  917.544.1778
530 West 112th Street #2               Fax:    309.424.5861
New York, NY  10025

"Die when I may, I want it said by those who knew me best that I always
plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would
                                   -- Abraham Lincoln

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