Celebrating Community Gardening

Rising food prices, a desire to eat organically and an interest in supporting local agriculture has fostered growth in community gardening. First Lady Michelle Obama has been putting the spotlight on community gardening in her efforts to get children to eat better and by planting a vegetable garden at the White House.

Next week we give extra attention to community gardening with National Community Gardening Week. According to the American Community Gardening Association, the benefits of community gardens are many, including:
– Improved quality of life for people in the garden.
– Beautifies neighborhoods.
– Produces nutritious food.
– Reduces food budgets.
– Opportunity for recreation, exercise and education.
– Reduces crime.
– Preserves green space.
– Opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections.

Here in Charleston, we’ve worked closely with the neighborhood around Elliotborough Park and Community Garden. A number of neighborhood and community volunteers have transformed the park, adding vegetable gardens and a sense of community. Earlier this spring, students from Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston designed and built a vertical garden in the park.

Interested in starting a community garden? The Community Gardening Association has some great tip sheets to give you an idea of what you’ll need. Also contact the Conservancy about ways we can partner with your community on a gardening project.

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