[Community_garden] need to prove that many community gardens are on public land

Richard Menn rtmenn at verizon.net
Tue Apr 1 21:17:24 EDT 2008

Hello, Rory--

We at Community Gardens of Chester County (PA), a small non-profit which 
tries to ameliorate the social isolation of some of our low-income 
county residents through community gardening and greening, have just 
begun to approach the boroughs of Downingtown and West Chester with 
proposals to use public land for purposes similar to yours. One resource 
you might consider using in your defense is an article that we've begun 
to include in our standard informational packets, which I found at 
http://www.nrpa.org/content/default.aspx?documentId=3765. Entitled 
"Bloom to Grow," it's right down your alley--an overview of successful 
uses of public land for community gardens in various cities across the 
country, written for a professional parks and recreation audience by a 
former president of the ACGA. (I'll be glad to provide you with a spiffy 
four-page, re-formatted version in Word, if you'd like to see it.)

But to the larger question: Clearly, "one of the neighbors" has a 
problem with your garden; but how much is known, so far, about what 
other neighbors might think? Are all of your gardening families from the 
immediate neighborhood? Do any of them know the complainant? . . . etc., 
etc. As you well know, the dynamics of such conflicts can be quite 
subtle. Anyway, even as many of us begin to weigh in to help you 
consider all of your options, your experiences may in the end save the 
rest of us quite a bit of grief as well . . . so please stay in touch! 
And if you'd be willing to host visitors from Montgomery or neighboring 
counties for an on-site evaluation and confab sometime soon, please 
count me in.

Best wishes,


Richard T. Menn
Community Gardens of Chester County

Rory Cohen wrote:

>We have a small (10-12 family) organic community garden, the first in a
>park in cheltenham township, PA.  We've been operating for 5 seasons
>One of the neighbors thinks the garden is 'messy' and 'unsightly' and is
>trying to get it shut down.
>One of the arguments they are using is that the garden is in a public
>park, and they say that most community gardens are on private or
>institutional land.
>this isn't true according to my research, but I need to gather more
>examples of community gardens that are on park land.  Can you help?
>Mobile:1 215 287 6458
>Toll Free: 1 877 669 9746
>www.take10now.com <http://www.take10now.com/> 
> <http://www.thesecretin10minutes.com/> www.thesecretin10minutes.com 
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