WE Community Gardens

WE Community Gardens

  RG Lyons
  Community Church without Walls
  Birmingham, AL
  Multiple Practices

This was from our Summer Garden festival where we had an art wall for anyone wanting to be creative.


What was the purpose of your project?

The purpose of WE Community Gardens is to provide "Food for body, mind, and soul" through a community garden. We thought a community garden could increase food security, decrease diet related diseases, facilitate the formation of the community, connect people to the Creator God, and be a source of community pride.
What did you do?

We had 16 community plots where community residents could grow their own food, a common garden area where volunteers could work and take some food, educational programs for youth and adults, and community service opportunities for juvenile offenders. We also worshipped in the garden and helped an elementary school start their own garden.
What difference did your project make for participants?

The garden increased the food security of plot owners, kept juvenile offenders out of the detention center and taught them life skills, provided opportunities for youth and adults to learn about healthy, local food, and helped people connect their faith to care of the world.
What did you discover or learn that most surprised you?

The most surprising thing we learned was how many people from different walks of life found the garden to be meaningful. People from all over the city, from city leaders to business leaders to neighborhood residents to homeless people to youth to seniors found the garden to speak to them and in doing so, brought them together for a common purpose.
What did you learn that you would like to share with others?

A community garden engages youth and adults on many Christian practices and has many benefits to a community. A garden is one of the few things in life that I cannot find anything negative about. It facilitates community, produces good food, teaches us how to care for the environment, and reminds us of our dependence on God.

© 2006-2011 The Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith