Sunday, October 17, 2010

People, Plots, and Plants of DC - Part 2

Profiling Community Gardens Across the City

Guest Blog by Susi Baranano

The Newark Street Community Gardens was started in 1974 by local resident Ann Chase as part of National Food Day in 1974. It is located on DC Parks and Recreation land, atop of water tributaries including the Fourth Branch that flows into the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This 4.5 acres community garden, has 220 plots, 80 trees and 25 different bird species, (and crickets) against the backdrop of the National Cathedral. About 10% of the gardeners live outside the neighborhood.

Mary (pictured here with her straw hat with a sunflower pin) of Newark Street Community Gardens has been planting there for some 10 years, ever since her trees in her backyard grew up and shaded it. This was a hard summer for her and her fellow gardeners. However, her zucchini’s did well, and she just finished planting seeds of lettuce, arugula and cilantro fall’s cool weather and harvest in a month or so. Her garden is still full of zinnias – pinks, fuschia, yellow, red, orange.
In Ward 2, Frances Community Garden can be found behind the Francis Stevens school and the Francis Community Pool, overlooking the GW Parkway. Just about two dozen plots (5'x25' or 10'x25') line up along the edge of the field, overlooking the GW Parkway and the Potomac creek canal running alongside. These plots are on DC land – specifically of DC Parks and Recreation. Imagine gardening on a hot summer day – while hearing squeals of joy from the pool and from the new school playground (with yellow slides, red ladders) and the running water of the Potomac creek along the commuter traffic! This is truly a community garden in Washington. DC.

Searching for people, plants and plots!!! Contribute to this new guest blog series about DC’s community gardens, contact me at

Read Part 1 of the People, Plots, and Plants of DC series at:

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