Sweet carrots, juicy tomatoes, crisp lettuce—these are just some of the fresh produce that gardeners throughout Southwest Washington are preparing to plant in the coming weeks. But with two of the Southwest community gardens marked for redevelopment—the Water Street Garden as part of The Wharf and the garden located between the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and the U.S. Department of Education slated for the Eisenhower Memorial—local enthusiasts are seeking a new permanent space to grow their flowers, herbs and vegetables.
At Delaware and I Streets, Lansburgh Park, a vast grassy field that is largely ignored by Southwest residents, is a promising location for a new community garden. The park is spacious enough to accommodate forty plots alongside a dog park, playground, picnic area and more.
Community gardens offer city residents living in apartments or with tiny backyards the opportunity to grow healthy, nutritious food often at a more affordable price than can be found in local grocery stores. Community gardens are also great centers of activity, bringing people together over a shared passion or simple curiosity about what is flourishing in the garden. The added presence of gardeners at all hours of the day can make city parks feel safer, and the active use of communities’ green spaces helps them remain green.
A design charrette—a meeting to get community input on improvements to Lansburgh Park and to discuss potential uses of the space—will be held in March. The organizers are soliciting feedback on the plans for a community garden. If you are interested in becoming part of the community garden at Lansburgh Park, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.