Citizens For A Better Norwood

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Norwood Community Garden at Linden Pointe

Reserve a bed this week!


Not long ago, Jim Tarbell with the design firm Steed Hammond Paul at Linden Pointe read this piece Jami Stutzman wrote about urban farming on her Keepin' it REAL Estate blog. Shortly afterwards, he had a vision as he gazed out his fourth floor office window at the vacant land surrounding his building: instead of vacant land, Mr. Tarbell saw lots of Norwood community members of all ages, church groups, youth and senior citizens groups, civic organizations, philanthropies, and businesses busily and happily gardening as many as 100 individual 4' x 10' beds. He envisioned Linden Pointe developer Al Neyer, Inc. setting aside some of it for use as a Community Garden for Norwood. He quickly called Chris Dobrozsi, Al Neyer, Inc.’s Vice President for Real Estate Development, who not only agreed the land at the corner of Joseph E. Sanker Blvd. and Montgomery Rd. could be used for the garden but also said Al Neyer, Inc. would prep the beds 3' apart with 12" of topsoil and make water available to all the gardeners.

Next, Mr. Tarbell contacted people and organizations he believed would support and help organize the project. Response was so strong that he hosted a meeting at his office this past Friday attended by Chris Dobrozsi and approximately 15 community gardening professionals and enthusiasts. Among the organizations/businesses represented were the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati (click here to see their Neighborhood Gardens website), Robin Wood Flowers on Dana Avenue, The Center for Closing the Health Gap in Greater Cincinnati, Norwood Service League, Urban Harvest, and Norwood Young Professionals/Keepin' it REAL Estate (Jami Stutzman). Oh, and Citizens for a Better Norwood’s roving reporter was also there.

With spring planting season just a few weeks away, the group agreed that this is the week, today through this Friday, May 1, to take reservations for the prepped garden beds. To reserve a bed, call Lupe Gonzalez Hoyt at Norwood Service League at 924-1200 before 3:00 p.m. this Friday if you can do just these three things:

1. Recruit 9 other highly motivated individuals to help with the bed. This can be any combination of friends and/or family, adults and children, any youth group, senior citizen group, church, civic, or business group, i.e., any group of 10 people who will faithfully tend the garden bed through the end of the season.

2. Provide your own seeds and plants, gardening tools, fertilizer and the like (Al Neyer, Inc. is providing the water).

3. Agree to donate a small portion (10% or more) of the produce from your garden to Norwood Service League for their food pantry.

This Friday, Jim Tarbell is hosting another meeting so the Norwood Community Garden supporters can review the number of reservations made this week and make plans accordingly. Roughly 100 Community Garden beds are available, so call Lupe at 924-1200 before 3:00 p.m. this Friday to make a reservation. We’ll report any new developments.

With the deadline only 5 days away, please email this blog to local friends, family members and/or groups you think might like to make a reservation. We all need to help get the word out FAST!

We want to thank Jim Tarbell for acting on his vision, Chris Dobrozsi for Al Neyer, Inc.'s generous donations, Lupe Gonzalez Hoyt for all she's doing to move this project along, and all the community-minded people at the meeting who are helping organize the Norwood Community Garden at Linden Pointe. This is absolutely fantastic, isn’t it?