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Original post made
on Feb 17, 2014
Garden! LOL. The resident's of the Belle Haven Community don't need gardens..Based on the article I can see the intention to go green but guess what- who has time to garden when parents barely have time for their families. People there have their own yards to grow their gardens in. Having an ugly pieces of leasable land for a community garden is ridiculous and it devalues properties. Where are these people coming up with what is needed for our community.Outside consultants can't offer what the people live there truely need. If you want a sense of community in that neighborhood ask the MPPD to stop terrorizing the community. Have outreach groups inform the residents of their rights! Tell Facebook to hire within the community, and provide educational resources like programming for the the youth.No one wants to go outside of their house becuase they run the risk of being harrassed by code enforment officers.
East of 101 has one point right ... people in Belle Haven generally have their own yards, and can garden there if they want. A community garden is mostly useful as a place for gardeners to socialize while working. As long as people providing gardening classes aren't being "preachy", there's nothing wrong with that. And it's downright bizarre and offensive to talk about the MPPD terrorizing citizens in Belle Haven when there's periodic flair-ups of gang members shooting each other; my experience with the police department has only been positive.
The Belle Haven community is super supportive of this project, and actually has been trying to get one built. Currently, the lot is used as a dumping ground, so the garden will clean up and beautify the space. The garden is meant to be educational for the nearby Boys and Girls Club, as well as the Senior Center. Community members will have ample space to grow their own produce, to socialize, and take advantage of free gardening classes. Sounds like a win-win.
I'd support it. Even with yards, there are those in Belle Haven who live in apartments - or, even more commonly, rent a house and may not be allowed to grow a garden. Although we have a veggie garden, it might be interesting to check out the classes, and get to know a few more neighbors. I can't see why someone would get upset about a community garden. Palo Alto has several, and it hasn't destroyed home values there ...
I think is a great idea.
I have enough land to use for my own vegetable garden.
But a community garden would not only help us grow produce. More importantly, it would help us grow community; which we badly need.
Count me in.
One only has to look at the wonderful work that Collective Roots has done in E. Palo Alto to understand the benefits of community gardens - whether one has a yard or not. Classes, shared learning, trading fruits and veggies, food justice, local agricultural history and sustainability, nutritional education, pride of place and joy are just some of the benefits. Collective Roots started in Belle Haven. Perhaps they'd be willing to help get this initiative off (or rather, into) the ground?
A 2006 New York University School of Law study titled "The Effect of Community Gardens on Neighboring Property Values" shows a net positive impact on property values by community gardens. That impact is even stronger in lower income communities. Community gardens can be great assets to any community and I applaud the Rotary Club of Menlo Park for trying to build one in Belle Haven.
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