Our group from Charleston walks through the 15 year old location for the Delaware Center for Horticultre and we are dreaming of having something like this in our town. The site used to belong to the Delaware Parks Department until they moved to a new site more than 20 years ago. It feels like a place where a gardener would be comfortable. The old vehical bays are filled with garden supplies, wheelbarrows and all those things that this group uses to work with the greening of Wilmington.
The DCH has been in the Wilmington community for 30 years. Through collaborations with neighborhood groups, social service, municipal and government agencies, DCH is a busy oranization. Pam Sapko, the Executive Director spent the day taking us around to projects they have been working on all over the city. We looked at everything from major tree plantings to a recent community garden that opened their first local neighborhood farmers market this past weekend. It is a lot like what we are starting to do with our parks and greenspace in Charleston, only they have many years of stories to tell where as we are just starting to make a stir in our town.
The Center is located near the railroad tracks and abuts a huge City park. Meeting rooms used by civic groups and horticultural organizations are booked solid throughout the year. The place was filled with activity as the staff has grown from 5 in the beginning to over 25 presently. It felt like home. Is Charleston's garden-horticutural-urban farming community ready to move forward with a concept like this?