Gadfly learns about the Southside Garden Alliance

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Southside Garden Alliance Overview

Gadfly absolutely loves this job.

Mary Toulouse spends exactly 2:43 (less time than it takes for this morning’s tea and toast) at City Council May 19 pitching the idea of community gardens, and within a short time a whole new dimension of our town opened up to him.

Kim Carrell-Smith pointed Gadfly to Connor Burbridge, and in the meantime Breena Holland provided meaningful background and he also found Ken Raniere’s delightful article on this vegetable aspect of Southside history. Then Connor appeared with this valuable information below about the quite ambitious Southside Garden Alliance.

We look forward to Connor posting soon, but Gadfly invites you to read this detailed overview of the project with timeline beginning Winter 2019 and extending into 2021.

Southside Garden Alliance Overview

A timeline upon which no doubt the coronavirus has unfortunately left a mark.

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Southside Garden Alliance Overview

Mission: The Southside Backyard Gardens Alliance seeks to build community connections, increase community health, and advocate for environmental sustainability through the creation of community spaces and backyard gardens throughout South Bethlehem and through educational workshops, children’s camps, and community potlucks.

Vision: There are a number of urban agriculture projects on Bethlehem’s Southside, including the Southside Initiative’s MLK Garden and Esperanza Garden, as well as nascent gardens at the Lynnfield Community Center, Southside Permaculture Park, Victory House, and Hispanic Center. The Southside Backyard Gardens Alliance will act to help collaborate efforts between these projects as well as provide resources to help expand them. The Southside Backyard Gardens Alliance will provide resources and technical assistance to would-be community backyard gardeners and will aid in the construction of garden beds with involved community members. Rainwater barrels and container gardens can also be constructed and installed in community members’ yards. A tool library will be available for community members to begin their own projects or expand on existing ones. Master Gardeners will provide discussions on how to build and maintain healthy soil and healthy plants. Southside Arts District can help infuse local art into the events to increase engagement and promote local artists. Health and Nutrition experts from the community can provide information on healthy eating habits, and local chefs can teach creative ways to prepare various vegetables. Southside Backyard Gardens Alliance will host regular potlucks to build connections among community and conduct a dialogue on how we all can come together to better meet the community’s needs.

Wonderful project, wonderful people!

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