Here are some things to think about when creating a community garden:
Starting a committee
Invite community and congregation members, neighbors, and interested local farmers to join. Get people excited about bringing a community garden into the neighborhood.
Divvying the responsibilities
Make sure everyone knows what they’re responsible for. Are some people working on finding or expanding your site? Are others working on creating your volunteer system? Maybe others are looking for ways to fund your garden?
Choosing or expand your site
Does the site you have now allow you to expand, or should you be looking for a new location? Is it a space that gets 6 hours of sunlight? Do you need to do a soil test? Is there a water source available nearby?
When thinking about finding a new site for a community garden, find out who owns it and if they are willing to donate it to the community. The National Park Service allows groups to form community gardens in parks. It’s a great idea to develop a lease agreement for at least three years.
Setting up rules and guidelines
You have to set up rules and guidelines to make sure that people will really work on the garden when they say they will. Here’s a great example of a set of rules and regulations for a community garden.
Making it legit
There’s a lot to think about if you want to make your community garden an official organization, like your goals, plans, funding, etc. Liability insurance is something the landowner may require you attain when taking over the land.
Making snazzy additions to your garden
Once everything is set, and you’re working on the design of your garden, create:
- A garden sign that displays partners and participants.
- A community bulletin board.
- A picnic table for gardeners to rest or enjoy the bounty of the land.
- Children’s areas with small plots or sand boxes.
- Plants on the perimeter that are drought resistant but draw in pollinating friends like bees or butterflies.
Lots of work, yes, but imagine the benefits for your community!