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Thread: Community gardens

  1. #1
    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
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    Community gardens

    Has anyone out there done any projects involving municipalities adopting community gardens? I am in the process of evaluating recycling and sustainability programs throughout my fair city, the head honchos would like me to investigate community gardens as well as other urban agriculture and sustainability projects they can adopt.

    Step 1 - look up sustainability. Couldn't find it in the UDC, thanks wikipedia! Any other suggestions?
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    There are quite a few programs in Detroit. Try googling Detroit Gardens Community
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Take a look at Growing Power. They are doing amazing things. www.growingpower.org.
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    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Our City will not take on the responsibility of community gardens, so its really a mix of independent projects at this point. We started and manage one out of our non-profit organization. Many other cities have become involved at various levels - from providing land and/or water to actually managing spaces, or at a minimum just allowing them to exist and access city water. There are many directions to go for municipal support. Below are a few cities I know of that provide some level of support for CGs.

    Seattle's model involves owning a number of large parcels throughout the city that they then hire a non-profit to manage (who also brings in their own money through grants). All the gardens have water infrastructure (pipes running to each plot) and composting on-site. In addition, I believe their city-wide composting adds to the beds every year and they use some city equipment for improvements and such. They are called Pea Patches.

    Philadelphia has another interesting model that, I think, is independent of the city, but may have some relationship with them, I'm not sure. They used to have a situation like we do, with many independent gardens scattered on vacant lots throughout the city. At some point, these plots were all consolidated under the ownership of a non-profit land trust, so they are secured perpetually as green spaces. Philly also has a program whereby community gardeners can pay a very nominal fee (something like a $75 deposit and $50 fee) to get a special wrench to water from hydrants. I saw a guy doing this when I was visiting a few years ago and he gave me the lowdown.

    I think also San Francisco has a City-organized or at least sponsored community garden program. Like Seattle, they are scattered throughout the city on fenced lots. Not sure who manages these spaces, though.

    Wasatch Community Gardens is a powerhouse non-profit community gardening association in the Salt Lake City area. Not sure if they have a relationship with the county there or not, but worth checking out.

    Lastly, check out the American Community Garden Association (ACGA - not to be confused with the American Corn Growers Association that shares the same acronym) They are a clearinghouse of information on community gardens nationwide.

    I've absorbed a lot of information about community gardens since starting ours 5 years ago. Hopefully this is helpful. Good luck!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HomerJ9139 View post
    Has anyone out there done any projects involving municipalities adopting community gardens? I am in the process of evaluating recycling and sustainability programs throughout my fair city, the head honchos would like me to investigate community gardens as well as other urban agriculture and sustainability projects they can adopt.

    Step 1 - look up sustainability. Couldn't find it in the UDC, thanks wikipedia! Any other suggestions?
    Denver Urban Gardens is among the leaders in this country wrt adoptions, partnerships, programs, studies, etc. A number of cities around here - look up stories in The Post - have adopted chickens too.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
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    Thanks everyone these are all great references I have been looking through.

    ColoGI, do you happen to know the name of the grant program the city offers for Denver Urban Gardens? I'm going to do some digging on similar grant programs, and this will hopefully lead to my next step, reviewing what options my fair city will have and what type of role the city wants to play.

    I think I am going to get started by going through the Chamber of Commerce and creating a directory of organizations that may have an interest and meanwhile try to get a better feel for what course of action the city would be willing to take. I think adding some sort of ED oriented grant program would be really cool, but who knows if that's what the city wants...

    Thanks again,
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

  7. #7
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Here's an older thread with links to a couple of resources you may want to check out.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ThePinkPlanner's avatar
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    Around here, it seems that many of them are managed through the recreation departments of various towns. That said, they are all small towns with the ability to do that- few towns have more than 40-50 plots.

    They're wildly popular though, and I've never known a community with unused space. People are often on waiting lists for years. We're considering strengthening our PUD requirements to include provisions for community garden space. Even if they only serve the residents that live in the new developments, it will still be a plus.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Public Health Law & Policy

    Quote Originally posted by HomerJ9139 View post
    Has anyone out there done any projects involving municipalities adopting community gardens?
    Another good source of info can be found at:
    Public Health Law & Policy

    They have some info related to community gardens here:
    Community Gardens

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    City & County of Honolulu has had a program since 1975

    Quote Originally posted by MCasey View post
    Another good source of info can be found at:
    Public Health Law & Policy

    They have some info related to community gardens here:
    Community Gardens
    almost forgot - check out Honolulu's Community Gardening program too - most of the gardens are in the "urban core" of the city - but a few in more rural areas - they've been around for a while - still operating under the C & C's Amended Rules (1984!)

  11. #11
    Boston has an extensive network of community gardens. Though a few are publicly owned, most of them are part of land trusts. Even those that sit on city land are managed by not-profit organizations.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    I think many models may involve city ownership of land and leasing to a non-profit for the proverbial $1 a year, but I could be wrong. It buffers the city from the risk and the staff time. We initiated this at a park in a city where I worked. As we were a largely suburban community, we also looked at encouraging HOA's to establish community gardens in their "open space".

  13. #13
    Cyburbian craines's avatar
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    In LA you have to form a 501-C ( or k ), a non-profit, in order to have a community garden. You also have to enter into a partnership agreement with the city and put up a $10,000 bond. We can taylor the agreement a bit to the the specific GC but it basically outlines all the parties responsibilities, behaviors and fees and that if you grow weed we get a cut.Where possible we will sub meter their water and utilities and they, the non profit, will be responsible for the bill.

    thats all I know...
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