Breaking Ground on Community Gardens

> STEP 1

Form a Planning Committee

> STEP 4

Create A Year-Round Plan

Organize a meeting of all interested people and discuss the Remember that a garden is a year-round experience. Plan steps needed to start the garden project. Choose a wellgardens for various seasons, and create a timeline for planting organized leadership team to oversee the project. It may also and harvesting. However, having a year-round garden also The down and dirty on for be helpful to form sub-committees that are responsiblehow to build, means you will have to ensure that there will be members to various tasks, such as Funding,maintain and sustain a community garden Youth Activities, Construction, take care of the garden at all times. Communication, etc. Choose a name for the garden. > STEP 5 > STEP 2 Choose & Prepare A Site

Define A Purpose, Objectives & Values
Determine who the garden will serve and if it is meant to benefit a particular group or neighborhood. It is essential that members of those populations are involved in all phases of the garden project. Determine your short and long-term objectives. Be sure to identify your needs before beginning the garden project to guide your planning and implementation. > STEP 3

The garden site should be in an area that receives 6-8 hours of full sunlight, has good drainage, and is in close proximity to water. The site should be easily accessible by all members. Consider past uses of the land, and perform a soil test in the fall for nutrients and heavy metals. Be sure there is enough room to include a storage area for tools and other equipment. > STEP 6

Organize The Garden & Activities
Determine how plots will be assigned and how they will be maintained. Discuss if certain things will be done cooperatively, such as turning the soil in the spring, composting, etc. Decide if gardeners will share tools and other equipment and if there will be a set of rules which gardeners are expected to follow. The more organized and detailed you are in planning your garden before beginning, the less likely you will face conflicts and other problems once the project begins.

Stick To The Plan
Continue to raise awareness of the garden throughout the community by inviting various groups or organizations to volunteer work days. Develop creative ways to keep members motivated to maintain a successful garden.
CONTINUED

BROUGHT TO YOU BY ADVOCATES FOR HEALTH IN ACTION
Advocates for Health in Action is a group of diverse organizations and community members who are shaping the environment throughout Wake County so healthful eating and physical activity are the way of life.

>REFERENCES

>RESOURCES

Advocates for Health in Action
A group of diverse organizations and community members who are shaping the environment throughout Wake County so healthful eating and physical activity are the way of life. www. advocatesforhealthinaction.org

NC Cooperative Extension
Gives NC residents easy access to resources and expertise of NC State University and NC A&T State University. Through educational programs, publications, and events, Cooperative Extension field faculty deliver unbiased, research-based information. www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/garden/CommunityGarden

American Community Garden Association
www.communitygarden.org/learn/starting-a-communitygarden.php

America the Beautiful Fund
A non-profit group which receives large seed donations from major seed companies and distributes them to community and school gardens Nationwide. www.america-the-beautiful.org/free_seeds/index.php

National Garden Association
www.nationalgardenmonth.org/index.php? page=storyline-school >POTENTIAL CHALLENGES TO CONSIDER

Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education
A grant for child-centered projects. The fund gives small monetary grants to schools, nature centers, or other educational organizations for the purchase of native plants and seeds. www.for-wild.org/seedmony

Membership
Decide the conditions you will set for membership. You may decide to develop written bylaws to ensure how the garden will operate and what to do if problems should arise. Other issues to consider are membership dues, eligibility requirements, meetings, etc.

National Tree Trust
Provides grants of one-year-old, regionally appropriate tree seedlings for planting on public lands (including community gardens). www.nationaltreetrust.org

Liability
Consider if you need to develop ways to prevent vandalism. You may also consider purchasing insurance for your garden. Unfortunately, many insurance carriers are reluctant to cover community gardens. If you decide you need insurance, consider working with a firm that represents many various carriers. Also, be sure to get several quotes, including those from major insurance carriers.

Seeds of Change
Donates organic seeds to non-profit groups. Each box contains 80 percent vegetable and 20 percent flower and herb seeds. www.seedsofchange.com

Support
It may be useful to identify community members who support gardening as part of their profession (e.g. local extension). Also, consider finding organizations that may help sponsor a community garden, such as churches, hospitals, parks and recreation, private businesses, etc. Be sure to track key information about donors and sponsors in order to build effective relationships.

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