Anyone can do it through crowd-powered neighbor collaboration. Parkway Partners in New Orleans has been doing it for 26 years. Parkway’s mission is to empower residents to improve quality of life through the preservation, maintenance, and beautification of neatrual grounds, green spaces, playgrounds, parks, community gardens and the urban forest in New Orleans. Among many other programs, Parkway works with neighborhoods to create community gardens. Their process for turning the idea into reality comes in several steps:
- Identify a vacant area and gather a group of interested neighbors. Select a representative to act as liaison with Parkway Partners
- Contact Parkway partners and tell them about the project. Gather data on addresses to the buildings adjacent to the vacant property.
- Parkway Partners begins the research necessary to identify the owner and obtain permission for its use.
- Meet with neighbors to establish interest. Schedule a meeting of interested neighbors. Once a commitment to the garden is assured, select a project coordinator to schedule a meeting with a representative of Parkway Partners
- Clean-up day is organized for the site once permission to use the property has been granted.
- Make a Plan. A garden plan is designed by the neighbors in conjunction with Parkway Partners and gardeners.
- Raise funds. Money must be raised from public and private sources to establish and maintain the site. Often, the city department that manages parks will help with maintenance.
- Finally, the framing is set in, soil is amended and the garden is planted!
More about Community gardens at the Neighborhood Partnership Network in New Orleans.