Located near Greenville’s central 5th Street District, the Greenville North Carolina Community Garden is accessible to visitors of downtown Greenville, local residents, and students at East Carolina University.
First: What Is A Community Garden?
A community garden is a plot of land made available to community members to grow vegetables.
Sometimes these plots are free to use, but usually, they are leased to gardeners for a small fee to help with maintenance and the costs of running a garden.
The fee to lease a Greenville North Carolina Community Garden plot is $1 a year. The Greenville Community Garden is located near the Tar River at 209 Stancill Drive, Greenville, NC 27858.
Studies have found that community gardens provide many benefits, including:
• producing locally-grown food
• improving health
• improving quality of life
• encouraging social interaction
• beautifying neighborhoods
• reducing crime
Individual residents of Greenville can lease a garden plot in the Meadowbrook and Tar River neighborhoods – but they’re not the only ones!
Neighborhood associations can also sign up for a garden plot. This is a great way to get people who live near each other, but who might not normally spend time together, to make connections.
Civic organizations may also lease city-owned garden plots. Tending a garden plot together is a great way to strengthen the ties within an organization.
Lease agreements last up to five years and cost $1 a year.
In order to lease a garden plot, you must complete a proposal packet, which is available at both the Greenville Municipal Building (located at 201 West 5th Street) and can be found online.
Maintaining a garden is hard work! Luckily, there are resources available to help.
The North Carolina Cooperative Extension is a government agency that works with farmers and other agricultural personnel throughout the state. Pitt County has its own branch of the NC Cooperative Extension that is located in Greenville.
Cooperative Extension agencies help farmers and local citizens with their land when it comes to:
• insect/disease, control
• food preservation
The NC Cooperative Extension also has many resources available on its website about health and nutrition, as well as gardening.
West Greenville is an area that needs help. The City of Greenville has established the West Greenville 45-Block Revitalization Program to improve the depressed areas in and adjacent to the neighborhoods of Cherry View, Perkins Town, Biltmore, and Lincoln Park.
There will be community involvement in the development of activities, so local residents have a stake in how their neighborhood is changed.
In addition to improving housing in the area, the program will also create parks, open spaces, and streetscape improvements.
A community garden has the potential to make a major impact on West Greenville. According to Wikipedia,
“Community gardens are often used in urban neighborhoods to alleviate the food desert effect.
Food accessibility described in urban areas refers to residents who have limited access to fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables. Food deserts often serve lower-income neighborhoods usually in which residents are forced to rely on unhealthy food options such as expensive processed foods from convenience stores, gas stations, and fast-food restaurants.
Community gardens provide accessibility for fresh food to be in closer proximity located in local neighborhoods. Community gardens can help expand the realm for ensuring residents’ access to healthy and affordable food in a community.”
There is a new opportunity to grow your gardening skills located not far from the Greenville Community Garden.
Pitt County established the Making Pitt Fit Community Garden, which is located at 456 County Home Road, Greenville, NC 27858. The purpose of the garden is to promote the benefits of gardening and healthier eating.
Every gardener must volunteer a minimum of five hours per year to help sustain the garden. Each gardener must attend at least one garden work day and one garden meeting per year.
The fee for a 4’ x 20’ garden plot at the Making Pitt Fit community garden is $15 a year, and there is a refundable $25 clean-up deposit that will be returned if the gardener satisfactorily cleans up the plot and notifies the garden manager.
Making Pitt Fit is an important initiative that the county is working hard to support. The Pitt County website offers many resources for people interested in taking care of a gardening plot.
If you are a first-time gardener, the number one thing to keep in mind is patience. Organizing the garden takes time, as does designing, preapring, and actually planting the garden itself.
To make the task easier, Pitt County has decided to assign each gardener a specific job. Those jobs are:
• Community Outreach
• Garden Mentors
• Surplus Produce
There are many benefits to starting a community garden. Residents can eat the produce that they actually grown with their own hands. People can also work with others who they might not normally spend time with.
Visit Greenville North Carolina’s Community Gardens to reconnect with nature.