The Community Garden at First Christian Church
There are more than 2,000 community gardens in the United States. Every major city in the country has one, and some cities like Detroit, Michigan, or Portland, Oregon, have dozens. Even some small towns, like Berryville, have one. What is a community garden?
The Community Garden Association broadly defines community gardens. They can be urban, suburban, or rural. They can grow flowers or vegetables or both, but most importantly, they grow relationships between people and organizations. A community garden can be one large community plot, or it can be many individual plots within the larger garden. Many are started and organized by schools, hospitals, churches, or neighborhood associations.
In Berryville, the community garden is organized and operated by the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ. Members started the garden five years ago as part of its congregational mission to "Build a Community of Hope." For members, that meant inviting neighbors into the garden to freely harvest, and to donate surplus to Loaves and Fishes, our area food bank.
Members also discovered other benefits to community gardening, which include:
Improves the quality of life for people in the garden
Provides a catalyst for neighborhood and community development
Stimulates Social Interaction
Produces Nutritious Food
Reduces Family Food Budgets
Creates opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education
Preserves Green Space
Creates income opportunities and economic development
Reduces city heat from streets and parking lots
Provides opportunities for inter-generational and cross-cultural connections
The Disciple's community garden is located behind the church on East Church Street in Berryville. Since it's first year of operation, it has been visited by more than 20 area and Midwestern churches as an example for possible replication, and is a frequent point of destination for individuals and couples out for evening walks.
The public is invited to visit the garden any time.