Posted tagged ‘community gardens’

Bruce Monroe Community Garden is Growing, Saturday, July 14th

July 12, 2012

Community gardent at Bruce Monroe Park

From an email announcement I received:

The Bruce Monroe Community Garden is growing and we need your help!

Join us this Saturday, July 14, from 9:00am – Noon, and help build a new set of raised beds at the garden! Over 100+ community members already participate in the garden and we are looking to expand this great community resource! The community garden features composting facilities, a learning garden for kids, fruit and nut trees, as well as shared and reserved plots.

Once completed, these new plots will be immediately available, just in time for the late summer and fall harvest. Whether you’ve never gardened before or are looking to upgrade from your balcony container garden, we’d love to have you as a part of our garden community!

No building/construction experience necessary and we’ll provide gloves, tools, and guidance. Just come with some sunscreen and a bottle of water. A quick email to brucemonroegarden@gmail.com to let us know you’re coming would be appreciated.

The Bruce Monroe Community Garden is located in Bruce Monroe Park (Georgia Ave between Columbia Rd and Irving St, NW), behind the tennis courts.

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Gardening at the Old Soldiers’ Home

May 15, 2012

Earlier this year I announced that there was a community gardening opportunity at the Old Soldiers’ Home. I’m happy to report that there was a good response to this opportunity — in which community members are paired with AFRH residents to work garden plots side-by-side.

Thus far, I’ve observed two things (even though the season has just begun) … 1) Working with and getting to know the AFRH residents is both rewarding and interesting; and, 2) Even though the garden is just a few yards inside the fence from Rock Creek Church Road and Park Place, there is definitely a very rural feeling on the other side of the fence. It is very easy to forget you are in the heart of D.C. when you are gardening there.

Below are a couple of photographs taken while AFRH residents and the outside community put up fencing to protect the gardens from the deer.


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Park View’s Activist Wangari Gardeners Featured in Washington Post

April 16, 2012

A group of “garden activists” is creating the Wangari Mathai park/garden in the District’s Park View neighborhood (Post photo).

Saturday’s Washington Post included an article on ‘Guerrilla Gardening’ aka activist gardening that featured, among others, the Park View folks creating the Wangari Gardens located between Irving and Kenyon just west of Washington Hospital Center.

According to the Post, activist gardening is a “phenomenon … that is taking off this spring in cities such as Portland, Detroit, Baltimore and the District, where young urbanites are redefining the seemingly fusty pastime as a tool for social change.” The basic concept of activist gardening, which dates back to the late-1960s, is that members of the community organize to create a garden on land that is otherwise neglected. Sometimes this is done with permits — sometimes it isn’t. In the case of Wangari Gardens permits were issues.

While the article noted that some commenters on local blogs consider guerrilla gardening to be an “example of overly exuberant gentrifiers hoping to take over neighborhoods that may not want to change,” not everyone has that attitude. Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), for example, told the Post he “wants the city to develop a permit process for community gardening and provide an inventory of vacant District land that could be used for community gardens.”

Whether you support activist gardening or not, it does highlight one very essential desire for those that live in urban environments, the need for green space that supports community and recreational activities. Such green space is notably lacking in much of Ward 1.

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Community Gardening Opportunity at the Armed Forces Retirement Home

March 22, 2012

As someone who sees the community garden plots of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) on a daily basis, I find this opportunity exciting. At a recent Friends of the Soldiers’ Home planning meeting, I learned that the garden area just inside the fence at the intersection of Park Place and Rock Creek Church Road once supported about 60 resident gardeners at the AFRH. Now, there are only a few.

Because of the greatly reduced use of the gardens, the AFRH has offered to partner with the surrounding community and allow volunteers an opportunity to have garden plots of their own in exchange to those also willing to assist AFRH resident gardeners with their plots.

Those with garden plots would go though background checks and become full AFRH volunteers. For more details and to initiate the process, interested parties need to contact Carolyn Haug, Volunteer Coordinator at the AFRH. She can be reached at 202-541-7627 or at carolyn.haug (at) afrh.gov.

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Wangari Gardens Breaks Ground

March 21, 2012

The first community workday and community meeting for the new park and garden bordering the Park View neighborhood was well attended on Sunday, March 18, 2012.

The workday started at 11 a.m. with many hands of all ages helping to construct raised beds for individual garden plots. At 5 p.m., the Community Interest Meeting hosted about 50+ attendees.

Topics included:
Keeping the property public, yet with more “specific-use” purposes
Having some open space (kicking soccer ball, throwing frisbee, etc.)
Siting a dog park
Planting fruits – non-native or native (figs, paw paws)
Installing a rain catchment system (to defray water costs)
Keeping bees on-site
Retention of through path (that currently bi-sects the property)

Park Place NW between Kenyon & Irving Streets (February 2012)

(March 18, 2012)

View more workday photos on Wangari Gardens’ Facebook page.

March 24th & 25th are scheduled follow-up workdays. Stay updated by joining their email list.

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Progress at Bruce-Monroe Park — Community Gardens & Water

July 1, 2011

New garden community garden beds at Bruce Monroe Park.

While most of the Lower Georgia Avenue communities were focused on the Caribbean Festival and Parade last weekend, some were otherwise occupied with construction of the new community garden at Bruce-Monroe Park. While organizers had hoped to finish the project in two morning blitzes on Saturday (6/25) and Sunday (6/26), it looks like they didn’t quite get there. None-the-less, the project appears to be off to a great start.

According to an email sent out by Bruce-Monroe Community Garden organizer Steve Seuser:

Community gardening is one of the hottest past times sweeping the country and today you have the chance to sign up to be part of it right in your own back yard! By growing you own food you’ll be:

  • getting back to nature,
  • saving money on grocery bills,
  • eating locally,
  • Improving your health,
  • helping the environment,
  • and meeting friends and neighbors!

Contrary to popular belief, summer and fall crops can be planted in throughout the summer, and harvested as early as July and as late as October!

So, whether you have little to no space to garden, or want to expand your existing gardening opportunities come and join the Bruce-Monroe Community Garden TODAY!!!

Use this LINK: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KLHJBN7 to reserve your garden plot, and/or sign up to help.

Copper pipe being laid at Bruce-Monroe Park ... hopefully to bring much-needed water to the site

For more information on the garden, contact Ecolocity’s Steve Seuser: steve.seuser at g mail dot com

Also while looking over the garden beds I noticed that work is being done on the Irving Street side of the property. Judging by the copper pipe this must be in support of bringing water to the site.

Water is among the outstanding issues that the City yet has to provide to the park and its nice to see that there is movement on that front as well.

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Build Community Gardens at Bruce Monroe Park

June 13, 2011

The community garden at Bruce Monroe Park is scheduled to be built on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26. The garden plot, located in the southwest corner of the park seeks volunteers to help with construction of raised beds from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. to avoid the heat of the day.

More specifically, volunteers are needed for either day to construct the raised beds (very basic carpentry skills needed) and haul wheelbarrows full of compost/soil mix into the raised beds. For more info or to volunteer, contact Steve.

For those seeking to start something similar, check out DC’s Field to Fork Network resource Starting a Community Garden in DC [PDF]

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