Article Contributed by
The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation
Community gardens are emerging in many cities as a powerful tool to reactivate vacant lots, engage neighbors, and facilitate healthy lifestyles. But they offer much more than just a plot of land in which to plant; they also offer a little piece of heaven where one can grow and harvest your own food for consumption without herbicides and pesticides. They allow people to get back to the earth, get their hands dirty, feel good about what they are doing and preparing for the table, whether it is a single person or a family.
Numerous people rent plots to grow their personal favorites and in the process will encounter other gardeners who they can exchange ideas with or just have a nice social interaction while they work. It is not just about gardening, but about cultivating new friendships with others and with nature.
The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) manages two demonstration community gardens on vacant lots in the City of Jamestown. The Lakeview Avenue and 6th Street Community Garden have 19 raised garden beds and the Washington Street and 8th Street Community Garden has 13 raised garden beds. All raised beds are filled with high quality soil and are 12′ long, 4′ wide and 1′ high. At each site there is a storage shed, tools, a water source and a compost area.
Beds are leased for an annual payment of $20. Returning gardeners have first choice to select their garden beds, then beds are opened for public rental. To inquire about available garden beds, contact Mary Maxwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-489-3493.
“GROW Jamestown is one of the vendors at the upcoming GROW Jamestown Garden Fair and Home Show at the Northwest Arena on March 30th in downtown Jamestown,” says Mary Maxwell, the JRC’s Neighborhood Project Manager and Community Garden manager. “Come to our free community event and talk to me about signing up to become one of our community garden urban farmers.”
With support from the JRC and the Chautauqua County Health Network (CCHN) additional community garden sites have developed at Jamestown Community College on Curtis Street and by Northside PRIDE at the corner of Grant and E. 8th Streets. All three Jamestown middle schools have established gardens, and the Jamestown High School’s “The Garden of Weedin’ Club” is once again going strong.
If your organization or neighborhood group is interested in starting its own community garden, contact the JRC for technical assistance.
Many studies show gardening is good for the body by relieving stress, getting fresh air, adding additional exercise into your daily routine through planting, maintenance and harvesting and eating a healthier diet.
Somewhere, under all the snow, our gardens are waiting. What will you plant this year?
The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is a public-private partnership supporting downtown and neighborhood revitalization through inspiration, action, and celebration in greater Jamestown, New York.