Community gardens can help reduce negative environmental impacts by promoting sustainable agriculture; reducing food transportation costs and reducing water runoff. Humans, plants, and animals can all benefit from urban agriculture since it creates habitats and improves the ecology of the area. Let’s check how we can do it!
1. Organise a meeting of interested people Determine whether a garden is really needed
and wanted, what kind it should be (vegetable, flower, both, organic?), whom it will involve
2. Form a planning committee Choose a well-organised person as garden coordinator.
Form additional committees to tackle specific tasks, e.g., funding and resource development,
youth activities, construction and communication.
3. Identify all your resources Contact local municipal planners about possible sites, as well
as horticultural societies and other local sources of information and assistance. Look within
your community for people with experience in landscaping and gardening. In Toronto contact
the Toronto Community Garden Network.
4. Approach a sponsor Some gardens “self-support” through membership dues, but for
many, a sponsor is essential for donations of tools, seeds or money, for example. (One garden
raised money by selling “square inches” at $5 each to hundreds of sponsors.)
Churches, schools, private businesses or parks and recreation departments are all possible
5. Choose a site Consider the amount of daily sunshine (vegetables need at least six hours a
day), availability of water, and soil testing for possible pollutants. Find out who owns the land.
Can the gardeners get a lease agreement for at least three years? Will public liability insurance
6. Prepare and develop the site In most cases, the land will need considerable preparation
for planting. Organise volunteer work crews to clean it, gather materials and decide on the
design and plot arrangement.
7. Organise the garden Members must decide how many plots are available and how they
will be assigned. Allow space for storing tools, making compost and don’t forget the pathways
between plots! Plant flowers or shrubs around the garden’s edges to promote goodwill with
non-gardening neighbours, passers-by and municipal authorities.
8. Plan for children Considers creating a special garden just for kids—including them is
9. Determine rules and put them in writing Will gardeners share tools, meet regularly,
handle basic maintenance? Do you need a waiting list for more members? If your group
charges dues, how will the money be used?
10. Keep members in touch with each other Form a telephone tree and/or an email list;
install a rainproof bulletin board in the garden; have regular celebrations.
For the opening day, you could play a song by Lenny Kravitz – I build this garden for us: “… In this garden Our children will grow Darling this is a must We’ll be so happy Our little family So full of love and trust…”, so the atmosphere will be guaranteed 🙂
I wrote this article about how people in Ringsend and Irishtown Dublin 4 built a community garden in 2013