How Green Was My Garden: Everyone loves a Parade OR It’s all about Community

From our friends at Gardening Matters comes this announcement:

The Minneapolis Parade of Community Gardens is August 22nd.   It will be a wonderful kick off to National Community Gardening Week that was declared by the US Department of Agriculture.   Minneapolis & St Paul City Councils will be passing resolutions proclaiming August 22nd as  “Community Garden Day”, honoring each and every community garden and the hard work that everyone contributes to making these green spaces community assets.

It is important to show support for these resolutions being put forth by the cities so if you have an opportunity to stop by the City Council meetings this week please do so.

The entire process takes only 15-30minutes.  Quick and Easy. Let the city council know just how important these green spaces are to our neighborhoods.  You won’t need to say anything — your presence will say it all.

Minneapolis City Council Meeting
Friday, August 14, 2009
9:30 a.m.
300 5th St
Council Chambers, Room 317 City Hall, Minneapolis

St Paul City Council Meeting
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
3:30 p.m.
15 Kellogg W Blvd
Council Chambers, Third Floor City Hall, Saint Paul

The International Outreach Church Community Garden in Burnsville is working on a City of Burnsville Resolution also! Right on!! Date of Resolution TBA.

Parade of Community Garden brochures can be found at www.gardeningmatters.org or call 612-492-8964!

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Dowling Community Garden

I have had the joy of growing up next door to the Dowling Community Garden all my life, and while my own backyard is large enough that I do not need the space of a community garden, I enjoy walking by every day and watching the crops and flowers grow, and my neighbors tending to their plots.  I speak with many of them at Mother Earth Gardens each spring about what they are going to plant and during the summer we commiserate about the lack of rain.  Community Gardens are a most wonderous thing and there are not nearly enough of them in the Twin Cities, though we are fortunate that there are far more here than other cities,  as the Parade will attest.   Each year it is such a thrill to see how many more have been added to the Parade.

Community Gardens are not just enjoyable for me, there is research that more and more people are enjoying them. The makers of Scotts Miracle Gro (they do make an organic product now at least, and their research was insightful), sponsored a comprehensive white paper on gardening in America.   In it they state  “Among households that don’t currently participate in food gardening, 3 percent would be extremely interested and 4 percent would be very interested in having a plot in a community garden located near their home. That translates to an estimated 5 million households that would like to garden in a community garden in the future, compared to the 1 million households that are current community gardeners.”

Five million additional people could be joining the community gardening movement if we could only find safe and clean spaces for them.  And not only could this be helpful in creating a further sense of community, providing safe, healthy produce, and an enjoyable activity for the family, but according to a 2006 study by the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University & the New York School of Law:  “The opening of a community garden has a statistically significant positive impact on residential properties within 1000 feet of the garden, and that the impact increases over time.  We also find that higher quality gardens have the greatest positive impact.  Finally, we find that gardens have the greatest impact in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Community Gardens can increase your property value,  more and more people want to participate, they provide an economical source of fresh produce that is good for the environment and on top of all that, gardening is good exercise and is one of the most enjoyable activities imaginable.  So if you can, please go to your City Council meeting, or send your regards to your representative in support of National Community Gardening Week and Community Gardening Day. Because with more support from our government, perhaps more of those 5 million people nationwide can have that chance to participate in this great activity known as Community Gardening.  Maybe one of them is you!

For more information on how to start a Community Garden, the American Community Gardening Association is a wonderful resource as is of course, Gardening Matters mentioned above.  The City of Minneapolis also has the specific details on rules for starting a Community Garden on their website.

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