Plant a Community Garden for CCED 2017!
Planting a community garden is an exciting way to participate in CCED! Consider the following steps when starting a community garden with friends, neighbors, schools, and other community groups.
With your parent or guardian, organize a planning group of interested people including friends, neighbors, schools, and other community organizations. Determine whether your garden will be for vegetables, flowers, or both! Make sure you invite people to the planning group who are very interested and have time to maintain the garden throughout the year. Form subgroups to tackle different needs—from fundraising, planning events, building and planting, to communicating with the public.
Find resources and sponsors that would support your garden. What types of skills do your planning group members have? Do you need more team members to do everything you need to? Is there a sponsor in the community that can provide funds for building the garden? Can you get construction materials, soil, bark, seeds, plants, and other in-kind donations from companies in your area?
Consider access to water and sunlight when securing a location, and work with the help of a local school, religious institution, business, park, or community garden network. Do you need to sign a lease or obtain public liability insurance? Can you get volunteers to help clean, prepare, gather materials? Decide how to arrange the garden—who is responsible for what plots? Make sure the garden looks nice for neighbors and other passersby.
Keep track of who is responsible for the garden at any particular time. Think about what will be expected of the gardeners and what will be expected of visitors. Create a set of rules that is respectful and inclusive, and post those rules at the entrances of the garden. Consider how you will continue to communicate with the planning group members, the gardeners, and the community. Will you create a listserv or email group?
Watch the plants grow and reflect on all your effort to make it happen! Consider donating the produce you collect for your garden to local food shelters or flowers to nursing homes for an additional positive impact on your community.
More information about planting community gardens is available at the American Community Gardening Association website.