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Why Community Gardens?
Community gardening is more than simply a way to grow food. Although similar to backyard gardening, it’s actually much more; there are more responsibilities, but there are also more benefits and rewards.
According to the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) http://www.communitygarden.org community gardening improves people's quality of life by providing a catalyst for neighborhood and community development, stimulating social interaction, encouraging self-reliance, beautifying neighborhoods, producing nutritious food, reducing family food budgets, conserving resources and creating opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy and education.
What is a Community Garden?
A community garden is a place where people come together to garden. It can be any size and take any shape. Churches, vacant lots, schools and parks are examples of where community gardens can grow. Community gardens can serve many purposes for many people. For some it is a place to grow vegetables, flowers and herbs with friends and neighbors. Sometimes people decide to grow food for local food banks and shelters. Some people participate because they don't have enough sunny space at home. Some like to participate because it promotes a feeling of community with neighbors and provides a way to learn about gardening with others.
Rewards and Responsibilites
When participating in a community garden you can look forward to more than fresh vegetables, flowers and herbs. Rewards include learning new growing techniques, learning about new plants and foods and meeting new people. Community gardening increases opportunities to interact with nature and provide habitat for beneficial insects and birds. Regardless of age, education, language, or ability community gardening is beneficial to all who participate.
Community Gardens are inclusive and welcome all people. A community garden takes the work of many to run well, and everyone is encouraged to participate. A few examples of group responsibilities are maintaining paths, repairing hoses and helping with Spring Registration. Examples of individual responsibilities are keeping your plot and adjoining pathways well tended and clear of debris and weeds, to care for and secure tools after each use, and to respect other gardeners.