The History of Grassroots Community Garden Collborative
Since 1997, Pine Street in Manchester has been the home of the first community garden created through the grassroots effort of citizen volunteers and nonprofit organizations led by UNH Cooperative Extension. Over the years, the need for more gardens and a growing list of collaborators has resulted in five community garden sites throughout the city: a site in 2010 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester, and in 2014, the largest community garden incorporating permaculture was built at Manchester Community College. In May 2018, the Hollows Neighborhood Community Garden came on board after three years in the planning stages. This year the fifth community garden is in process next to Parkside Middle School in Manchester.
Parkside Community Garden
In 2018 the city gave the go-ahead to move forward with a community garden next to Parkside Middle School that will host plots for Gossler and Parkside classes, afterschool and summer programs, along with community gardeners in the neighborhood. This summer the work to create this new garden is in full swing. It started with volunteers relocating a pathway that will free up space for the garden, and working with the city to access a water line.
A kickoff work session and fundraiser is planned for August 3, and a longer workday is planned for August 8, with 70 volunteers from City Year chipping in. "Natural Resources Stewards are also playing key roles in designing the garden, donating time, materials, and leading the construction effort," says Mary Tebo Davis, Natural Resources Field Specialist and Coordinator of the Stewards Program.
There is still much to do, and the project can use all the help it can get with donations of materials, time and labor. Please stop by the garden kickoff on August 3 (see the flyer) to show your support, or contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org (or call 641-6060) to pitch in!
Current collaborators include UNH Cooperative Extension, the NH Division of Forests and Lands, Families in Transition, Manchester Community College, Manchester Parks & Recreation, Manchester Health Dept., NeighborWorks Southern NH, YMCA, Dartmouth Hitchcock-Manchester, The Way Home, NH Permaculture Community Volunteers, Ara Tamzarian, and Manchester gardeners and residents.