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Community Gardens Grow from SEEDS

by Sandra Colón


Need something for your community? Something which helps bring people together in positive ways? Something hands-on?

Then maybe you need to start a "community garden." A program called SEEDS helps people in Durham and Chapel Hill to re-take unused lands and turn them into garden plots. In such a garden people can grow vegetables or flowers for their personal use or even for sale at local markets.

"People get a broader sense of community," said Will Atwater. He felt that community gardens were places where those strained by the tensions of daily life can come together to "recreate" themselves, to "interact, socialize."

Local community members just can't seem to resist getting involved with a community garden once they get started. Often these projects are begun in lower-income areas where there might not seem like there are many public places for people to hang out. In Durham, SEEDS staff members have helped local people to grow vegetables, flowers, berries, you name it, all in 'urban' neighborhoods.

Why do so many people want to get involved in community gardens?

Atwater suggested that working on the garden together was a form of "empowerment" which can often lead to cooperation, and hopefully, organizing.

  Sandra Colón lives in Hertford. NC.  

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