Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Community Gardens

City Bountiful: A Century of Community Gardening in AmericaThe majority of Community Gardens are available for public use, and provide the community with green space. In addition to green space they are spaces of recreation, social gatherings, beautification, and education for the community. Community gardens are often managed and maintained by those who have a plot in the garden, rather than a hired staff. Dividing the garden into individual plots or tending the garden in a communal fashion, ensures that the garden is always cared for.

Some influential community gardens, are:
There are many different types of community gardens. Some resemble European "allotment" gardens, with plots where individuals or groups can grow vegetables and flowers. Others are devoted to creating ecological green space, growing flowers, educational purposes, or providing access to gardening to those who otherwise could not have a garden (i.e. the elderly, homeless, and or yardless.)

"The majority of community gardening programs are collections of individual garden plots. Frequently the plot sizes are between 3m × 3m (10'×10') and 6m × 6m (20'×20'). This is consistent with community gardens sponsored by public agencies such as Park and Recreation Districts, city departments, large non-profits, or a coalition of different entities and groups. Plot holders typically are asked to pay a modest fee each year and abide by a set of rules to maintain the gardens productivity. Work days, fundraisers, and social gatherings are often encouraged. "Community garden organizers typically say that "growing community" is as important as growing vegetables, or, as the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) puts it: 'In community gardening, 'community' comes first.'"

(The American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) is non-profit organization of volunteers, professionals and member-organizations working in support of community greening in rural and urban areas across Canada and the United States. ACGA and its member organizations work together to promote community food and ornamental gardening, preservation and management of open space, urban forestry, and integrated planning and management of developing urban and rural lands.)

"The European history of community gardening in the US dates back to the early 1700s, when Moravians created a community garden as part of the community of Bethabara, near modern Winston-Salem, North Carolina - a garden still active and open for visitors today! First Nations peoples also gardened with a community approach (Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden paints a picture of gardens among the Hidatsa), likely for generations before the arrival of waves of immigrants."

For more reading on Community Gardens: City Bountiful: A Century of Community Gardening in America. By Laura J. Lawson.

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I just wanted to take a moment to send a personal message out to all those in the fields of Landscape Architecture, Gardening, Horticulture, and Urban Planning/Urban Ecology. I created Landscape Connections for the purpose to share my love and passion for Landscape Architecture and Design, and Urban Ecology. I was a Landscape Architecture Major at Utah State University and currently study Urban Ecology at the University of Utah. I am working to compile as much information in the four previously mentioned fields as possible. If you have any further information, or would like to either add information or see information posted to landscape connections please let me know.