Back to the Garden
by Jeff Czum
Neighbors teaming up for urban agriculture
What if you could grow enough organic produce, flowers and herbs annually for an entire community on less than one acre of land? Sound Impossible? There are community gardens sprouting up all over the city doing just that.
“Community gardening makes people responsible for where they’re living,” said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, the general manager at Urban Roots Community Garden Center.
“It’s a great way to develop bonds between communities and it helps when you know who your neighbors are, especially when you’re working side by side. Our goal is to help people get to that point.
“Urban Roots is a cooporative gardening center for the people who live in the city and don’t have time to drive out to the suburbs or visit big name stores,” Patti says. “We provide quality gardening products and educational services to people right here in Buffalo.”
They’ve been working side by side with Grass Roots Gardens of Buffalo, a non-for profit organization which helps guide people who are interested in volunteering or looking to create a community garden of their own. All it takes is a vacant lot.
Grass Roots has transformed dozens of empty lots into vibrant gardens where community members can work together to create something that benefits their neighborhood.
“It’s simple for people to create their own community garden,” Patti says. “Their best move would be to contact Grass Roots. They hold the lease for various plots of land throughout the city.
“There is an application they can fill out and the organization will help get them started and make sure they have all they need to be a successful garden,” she adds.
Community gardens offer residents a chance to meet their neighbors, build a sense of pride for their community, and learn the skills of planting and growing in an urban setting.
“It’s an opportunity to get people out and away from their computers,” said Patti. “It gets them talking with one another and it makes stronger communities.”blog comments powered by Disqus
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