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Starting a Community Garden


#Community Gardens #Connecting to Community #Gardening and Agriculture #Get Involved #Local Community


Alidia Vane

Community gardens are vibrant hubs of greenery and communal activity. More than just patches of soil; these spaces provide a multitude of benefits for the local community, including bringing neighbors together, providing educational opportunities, and serving as an example of sustainable living to the community. To learn more about the benefits of community gardens, check out our “Community Gardens” article. If your neighborhood already has a community garden, you can get involved with your local garden; however, if your neighborhood doesn’t have a community garden yet, you can always start your own! This article discusses the steps for creating a thriving community garden.

Setting up a community garden begins with building community support. A great first step is to build a committee of community members who share your passions. Work to ensure your committee reflects the make-up of your community, with a diverse range of skills, backgrounds, and experiences. It’s great to have experienced gardeners on your team, but your committee will also benefit from the perspectives of landscapers, community leaders, people with experience working in nonprofit or government, and more. 

After you’ve gained support, the next step is to carefully select your site. To find the right location, consider soil quality, water access, pedestrian and automobile traffic, and proximity to the community. In addition, pay careful attention to sunlight exposure on the site, and use this information to optimize your planting layouts.

When selecting a site, you should also consider how you will obtain the permission to use the site – whether that’s securing permission from the landowners or obtaining the financial means to purchase the land. Finding a local business or organization to sponsor your garden can be a huge help during this step. Be sure to also acquire any necessary permits or permissions from your local governing bodies before you begin.

Once the paperwork is settled, it’s time to prepare the site for planting. During the preparation stage, the site needs to be cleared of debris and leveled, any pathways or raised beds need to be installed, and the soil needs to be prepared for planting. This is a great time to invite community members to volunteer! Community members who get involved at this early stage will feel more connected to the site and may be more likely to stay involved in the future. 

After your garden is set up, continue to engage the local community by providing open houses, workshops, and other opportunities for new people to get involved in the garden. The more you engage with the community, the more longevity and positive impact your garden will have!

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