Community Garden Spotlight: Dunwoody
Dunwoody Community Garden is a Happening Place – Everyone Benefits!
(A special report in our Community Garden Series by Briana McIntyre)
Who would have thought that nestled minutes away from one of the most chaotic and congested highways in Atlanta can be found this sweet, serene, little organic retreat – the Dunwoody Community Garden?
I wrestled my way through sluggish traffic and exited off Chamblee Dunwoody road to meet with the chairman of the community garden, Mr. Arthur D. Simon. Mr. Simon was warm, welcoming and passionately proud about the project. The garden, started six years ago in 2008, already boasts 92 active members. The typical plots are 8 x 4 and members pay $60 a year – that works out to less than $2 per square foot for an entire year!
Some plots are allocated for charity and volunteers come in to maintain, plant and harvest these particular plots.
What amazes me is that the heart of the community beats through this garden area. The city of Dunwoody is very supportive of the efforts of the garden group.
There are currently several Eagle Scout projects happening here. (Among those projects is a plan to revitalize an old fire pit and create a central spot for social events.) Local churches remain involved by providing help through their membership seeking to give service to the community. A recent act of vandalism resulted in the community rallying their efforts even more in support of this community garden. The Home Depot donated vegetable plants and donated $2000 to build the wooden picket fence.
A local real estate brokerage dug the holes and ran the equipment for a fountain and garden.
Thankfully, those responsible for the vandalism were ordered to perform community service at the garden –and unlikely place for rehabilitation! The garden sponsors projects for grade and middle school groups and is expecting 20 students within the next week. Compost is donated by the county and wood chips by local tree companies.
The garden is managed by a Board of Directors and provides compost and all organic fertilizers to the gardeners, as well as all tools and supplies. Every plot has its own water supply though members who sometimes choose to use cistern water or bring water from home wells.
They are also one of the few ocal community gardens with a greenhouse. Flowers, lettuce, carrots, beans, tomatoes, etc are taken to local food pantries. It boastsseveral master gardeners, and a recent win in an orchard contest.
Symbolic? I think it is. This garden is definitely nurturing the health of the Dunwoody community.