City of North Lauderdale Community Garden
~~The North Lauderdale Community Garden opened in mid-2011 and was immediately popular with residents. It featured 18 plots that could be rented for $5 per year to cultivate edible or ornamental plants. The ultimate goal was to foster community cohesiveness while improving residents’ diet and providing opportunities for outdoor activity. These goals (and others) were achieved over a two-year period during which more than 100 local residents spent time working in the Garden. Since the sale of the original garden plot to Habitat for Humanity in 2013, however, the project has hit a snag. The City is seeking funds to purchase the sod, lumber and seed stock needed to re-establish this popular project and harness residents’ growing enthusiasm for community gardening.
The population served by this project is predominately minority and mirrors, to a large degree, the greater population of North Lauderdale. According census data, the City is 43% African American, 28% Hispanic, 20% Caucasian, 5% Asian/Pacific Islander, 1% Indian/Alaskan Native and 2% "other." About half of residents speak a language other than English in the home. Income levels vary with the average household living on $40,187 per year while 18.9 percent of residents live below the poverty level.
Participating residents benefitted from the Garden because they were able to spend time outdoors while honing skills that, in some cases, resulted in healthy foods for the family table. Vegetable production was so good in 2013 that some of the harvest was donated to a local non-profit organization. Other benefits from the project were more social. Certified Master Gardener Lee White, who sits on the five-member municipal board that oversees the Garden project, reported that many friendships were forged during the growing season.
“Friendships were forged and people were educated…The garden brought our community together like never before,” she said.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
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