A community garden is a single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people. This community garden grew out of several ideas, including the idea that growing and eating fresh vegetables was a healthy way to live and eat, that teaching children to grow fresh vegetables would encourage them to eat them, and that community and friendship would develop when people shared a garden.
We were given a piece of land by the Town and received a grant to buy the wood to build our beds and a donation of logs to build our garden shed/office building. Since this shed was a ‘commercial’ building on Town owned land, it required design approval from the Design Review Board. The town also stipulated that we have an Architect and Structural Engineer for the design of this project, despite its small size and despite the fact it would be hand-built by volunteers using short logs in a construction method called cordwood construction. As an Architect, I was more than happy to donate my services for this project and I only had to lean a little bit on a friend of mine for them to agree to do the structural design.
Now, years later the building and the design is everything I dreamed it would be when I donated my architectural design services. The garden itself has doubled in size and has increased its membership and the vines growing over our trellis have filled in to create a shady porch. The local children participate in classes at the garden and get to take home produce they have grown themselves. A sense of community has also grown between members of the community garden and between the garden and the local neighborhood. I think it speaks volumes that in a part of town where one might expect vandalism, this community garden does not have a fence and there has been little damage or theft of produce.
Giving back remains an important part of my personal commitment to our community, and the vision I have for to be a part of the community, which is why we do pro bono work. If you know of a project that fits this category and needs an Architect, please contact our office so we can discuss it.