What is Community Landscaping?

Ken Black
Ken Black
Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

Community landscaping is a concept of gardening where people from a single community come together to do volunteer landscaping or gardening in the area. The concept is a way to provide green space, especially in inner cities, and also promote a closer sense of community. In the United States, there is even a national organization, known as the American Community Gardening Association, that can provide helpful advice in order to get projects rolling.

The first step in community landscaping is to identify some people in the selected area that may be interested in participating. The size of the group needed for community landscaping depends largely on the type of gardening being done, and the size of the area being developed. Just a few people may be able to maintain a small lot. The more people that are interested, however, the better the chances are of keeping the program active over an extended period of time.

Once the basic group has been formed, these founders must identify an appropriate location in need of greening. Most of the time, someone in the group will have a spot already in mind, which may have been their motivation to join the organization in the first place. Once the spot is identified, the owner needs to be contacted, unless this person is already a member of the group. In this case, the respective member must be sure not to seem self-serving when opening up their property, or resentment within the group may result.

Once permission has been granted to allow the community landscaping to begin, members need to choose an overall landscape design. For example, some organizations may choose to do a vegetable garden. Others may choose to do flowers. Another option for community landscaping would be shrubbery and trees.

Funding is the next step. Starting from seeds is the cheapest way to go, but it will also take the longest to see results. Members should be willing to contribute some, but others in the community may also be willing. Sometimes, even local governments and service clubs will contribute. Often, they will have funds set aside for projects such as community landscaping.

Once the materials have been acquired, it is then time to organize work days. The first work day, or the first few days, will likely be the hardest. The work,at this point, involves clearing the site and getting it ready. It is still very important to make sure workdays are scheduled throughout the growing season. Otherwise, undesirable species of plants will take over the area. These subsequent workdays may not need to be fully staffed, but organizations should try to encourage members participate as much as possible.

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