Southwest Community Garden at Lansburgh Park
Southwest Community Gardens has transformed a portion of an underused city park in Washington DC into a thriving community garden. In July 2013, after almost two years of work from members of the Southwest DC community, and with strong and outspoken support from District of Columbia Councilmember Tommy Wells, the entire Ward 6 Advisory Neighborhood Commission, the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly, the Near SE/SW Community Benefits Coordinating Council, and many other community members and leaders, the community built a garden in Lansburgh Park. This garden brings neighbors together and improves the neighborhood’s access to local, healthy food.
Southwest has historically been Washington DC’s most economically and racially diverse quadrant and has been home to a number of community gardens for decades. Yet due to several planned development efforts, almost all community gardens in Southwest are slated to be closed. The Lansburgh Park garden has created a new gardening space to grow healthy, local food and is the only garden in Southwest DC that offers truly communal space for cultivating food collectively.
The garden has both individual and communal gardening plots. The individual plots offer individuals, families, or friends the opportunity to grow produce for their households and neighbors. In the garden’s communal section, gardeners, including local children, grow food for themselves and the larger neighborhood while learning about gardening and the nutritional value of fresh produce.
In the first months after building the garden, we held regular community work days to plant, care for, and harvest crops before the first freeze. After a large basil harvest, gardeners sampled homemade pesto and pasta for neighbors.
As we plan for our first full year, we are excited to further our goals of educating the community about gardening and the nutritional value of fresh produce, and strengthening community bonds.
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
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA