Garden power point


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Garden power point

  1. 1. Reporters’ book A guide for design- based ethnographic research Sixth and B Garden
  2. 2. 1.1 Description The garden serves as an anchor of local community gardening groups and as a working model of preservation for an energetic greening movement. The garden has a total of 80 plots, over 15 fruiting trees, and more than 50 flowering shrubs and innumerable herbs, flowers and vegetables. There are 80 members in the Sixth and B Garden community. Monthly meetings are held and members are required to attend at least 4 a year in order to maintain their membership. The garden has an excellent government. In a very democratic manner, all decisions are made as a community through elections and votes. Members of the garden are required to maintain their plot and contribute at least 4 hours of community work a month, which can include sweeping, working in garden the committee, or running for election as a garden executive. All members must live between Delancey and 14th Street and Broadway and the East River, and pay an annual fee of $12.00. 1.2 Context Prior to the garden’s existence, the neighborhood was a very unsafe. There were abandoned buildings that were used as drug houses. The city knocked down the buildings and left open lots. The founding members cleaned the lot and created the Sixth and B Garden. Upon creation of the garden, the neighborhood’s community flourished. The garden is now surrounded by a nice area where members are able to feel safe and relaxed.
  3. 3. 1.3 History of the initiative In the late 70's and early 80's, the energy crisis caused landlords to abandon their buildings, which then became occupied by deteriorating, vacant buildings used as drug houses. The buildings were eventually knocked down by the city and turned into vacant lots. A group of local community members of the area cleaned up the lot and transformed it into a beautiful garden. The garden established partnerships with the Green Guerrillas and the Trust for Public Land in order to allow the garden to raise funds to buy supplies and gardening equipment. Members consisted of many artists and performers who built a stage to put on shows and events for the community. This has become a major part of the garden society. Arts and crafts, pumpkin carving contests, live concerts and more are all held at the garden for the surrounding community’s enjoyment. At the end of every year, the garden hosts the Harvest Festival, where large grill tables are set up and members cook food for guests. A raffle is also held and all profits go towards operational funds for the garden. Local businesses contribute to the event by selling 2-for-1 goods, as well. Unfortunately, in more recent years, events are limited due to lack of support by the state and private foundations. However, garden members continue to fund events themselves in order to help maintain a strong relationship with the community. 1.4 Main actors The Sixth and B Garden has been in existence for over 27 years. There is a wide range of members including families, shop- owners, artists, students and more. The garden keeps plots open for students from the Public School 364, located right across the street from the garden, and a Community Youth Center a block away. However, participation depends on the enthusiasm of a specific teacher. The garden openly welcomes students and youth programs in the neighborhood to work on the plot, look after the garden and learn about the plants and nature.
  4. 4. 1.5. Technologies The Sixth and B garden’s irrigation system is connected to a water source from the street. Faucets, hoses and water barrels are used to circulate water throughout the garden. Each plot in the garden is 4’x8’. Garden member, Gray Wolf, maintains the garden’s website which contains excellent facts about the garden’s history, membership and events. Garden members communicate to each other through e-mail and phone. Each member assigns jobs and works together to schedule who opens and closes the garden each day. 1.6. Communication A community bulletin board is available for members to post flyers to promote upcoming events and raise awareness of the garden. However, the Sixth and B garden finds it difficult to communicate to surrounding residents and community members. The neighborhood has a difficult time understanding the purpose of the garden, due to the fact that it is strictly volunteer-based and open hours depend on the availability of members to monitor the open garden. The city does not require the garden to be open for more than 20 hours (as weather permits). However, members try their best to be available as much as possible to keep the garden open for the public’s enjoyment.
  5. 5. 1.7. Perspective for the future The city has stayed very positive for the garden, however there have been some setbacks. The garden is working hard to try to get zoned as parkland, which will provide a more stable existence. Recent budget cutbacks have prevented the garden from hosting more events, however members are staying positive for the future. They are currently building an herb garden, as well as a new shaded sitting area for guests to relax in. 1.8. Problems and opportunities The main problem of the Sixth and B Garden is the lack of motivation of some of the members. It is difficult to keep the garden open all the time because a member must be able to monitor at all times to prevent vandalism of the plants and vegetables. The garden is always encouraging new members to join and help maintain more open hours so that the community can become more involved.
  6. 6. 1.9. Indications of other social innovation The garden hosts many events for the neighborhood to get more involved with the garden. Plant and bake sales are held the first weekend of each month where members are given the opportunity to sell any extra vegetables and plants. The garden also sponsors poetry readings and performances for singers and songwriters. All profits go to the garden to repair lights, concrete, etc. 1.10. References Website: Interviewees: William Hohauser 212-260-6389 (home) Gray Wolf Contacts: Tim Young 212-614-0507 (home) Mary Buchen
  7. 7. Quantitative Data Exercise How many members does the initiative have? 80 members. How many are very active in the initiative? Around half of the total members. How does individual spaces compare with shared/group spaces? The individual plots are 4x8 feet and the lot is 17,000 square feet.