Sunday, August 9, 2009

Get Involved with ACGA!


Get involved with ACGA, American Community Gardening Association.

Their mission statement: The Mission of the American Community Gardening Association is to build community by increasing and enhancing community gardening and greening across the United States and Canada.

About ACGA's history:
The American Community Gardening Association recognizes that the diversity of its board, staff and communities is a source of strength and knowledge essential to its development as an organization. In principle and in practice, the ACGA values and seeks a diverse membership. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, sex, color, disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, language, level of education, geography, national or ethnic origin.

Where can the garden be:
We at the ACGA have a broad definition of what a community garden entails. It can be urban, suburban, or rural. It can grow flowers, vegetables or community. It can be one community plot, or can be many individual plots. It can be at a school, hospital, or in a neighborhood. It can also be a series of plots dedicated to "urban agriculture" where the produce is grown for a market.

What are the benefits:
• Improves the quality of life for people in the garden
• Provides a catalyst for neighborhood and community development
• Stimulates Social Interaction
• Encourages Self-Reliance
• Beautifies Neighborhoods
• Produces Nutritious Food
• Reduces Family Food Budgets
• Conserves Resources
• Creates opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education
• Reduces Crime
• Preserves Green Space
• Creates income opportunities and economic development
• Reduces city heat from streets and parking lots
• Provides opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections


Get supported, start a campaign:
At ACGA we recognize the importance of making community gardens permanent. The Board of Directors of the American Community Gardening Association is pleased to announce a campaign to directly help ACGA members by writing letters of support for you!

There are two kinds of Letters of support Reactive and Proactive. Reactive Letters of Support are sent to a person or organization (such as a landlord, city official, or neighbor) who has expressed negative sentiment towards your garden and this sentiment might threaten the viability of your community garden. Consider this tool if you are fighting for your community garden's survival.

Proactive Letters of Support are sent to a person or organization (again, such as a landlord, city official, or neighbor) who deserves your thanks. They may have just signed a new lease with you, given you a grant, or voted to support your garden, for example.

Go to www.communitygarden.org to find out more about this organization, how to get financially supported. Already have a community garden, go online to register it as an ACGA garden!

Blog post provided by Tally Gunstone

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