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Urban gardening: GROW develops inner-city options

(Published May 3, 1999)


Staff Writer

How does a D.C. garden grow?

Well, according to Judy Tiger, executive director of Garden Resources of Washington — usually with lots of sun, water, soil and an organization whose mission is to help people help themselves by providing opportunities to produce food, beautify neighborhoods, and to maintain community gardens and green spaces.

For more than 15 years the group has encouraged and supported community gardens around the city, including one at Eastern High School that Tiger calls "gorgeous" for its red brick wall setting and design. Her organization, best-known by its acronym "GROW," and Community Harvest started the garden last year as one of three demonstration sites.

"Students have the opportunity to learn about the health value of food," Tiger said. She said students produce seedlings and vegetables in a complete organic garden without use of chemicals. The food is donated to Food and Friends, which provides food for AIDS patients in the District.

GROW, whose focus is on lower-income neighborhoods, has helped start gardens in all eight wards of the city on public and privately owned vacant lots, in public housing complexes, on church property, at shelters, college campuses and on park land. The National Park Service and the D.C. Department of Recreation and Parks also helped start many of the community gardens.

Since 1992, GROW has helped start more than 45 gardens, only a few of which have been closed due to commercial development. Community food gardens and beautification helped by GROW total about 200 plots in more than 30 locations throughout the city.

Tiger notes although all the District’s gardens are beautiful, Gethsemane Garden in Ward One, Waterside Garden in Ward 2, and Hilton Garden in Ward 6 are a few of the gardens that stand out.

GROW’s services include starting new gardens; resource referrals; the community tool bank, which enables groups to borrow tools needed for neighborhood work days; the garden exchange,which solicits donations of plants and other garden materials to redistribute to community garden projects; volunteer services; and the garden partner program, which links knowledgeable gardeners with projects in need.

Each community garden operates independently.

GROW is a member of the American Community Gardening Association, a national network of community gardening programs. In Novem-ber 1995, GROW received one of four Distinguished Technology Awards offered by the National Center for Appropriate Technology.

Residents may contact coordinators of the following gardens to see if any plots are available or to get on the garden’s waiting list. GROW encourages residents to find vacant land in their neighborhoods to start new community gardens and may be contacted at 234-0591 for assistance.


•Tivoli Garden, Monroe and Holmead streets NW (Tim Glymph, 234-6405)

•Community Park West Garden, Adams Mill Road and Ontario Place NW (Victor Zebina, 234-1910)

•Gethsemane Garden, 1425 Euclid St. NW (Victor Zebina, 234-1910)

•Kalorama Garden, 19th Street and Columbia Road NW (ask at the garden)


•Independence Garden, 6th Street and Independence Avenue SW (Ken LePoer, 547-3938)

•Waterside Garden, 6th and M streets SW (Camille Cook, 554-3728)

•N Street Garden, 6th and N streets NW (Calvin Reed, 667-4851)

•Temple Garden, 15th and S streets NW (John Wood Sweet, 319-9045)

•West End Garden, 25th and N streets NW (ask at the garden)


•Cleveland Park United Congregational Church of Christ Garden, 34th and Lowell streets NW (Mary Jane Glass, 686-3082)

•Friendship Garden, 45th and Van Ness streets NW (Ruth Joyce, 363-5070)

•Newark Garden, 39th and Newark streets NW (ask at the garden)

•Whitehaven Garden, 40th and W streets NW (Peter Grinnell, 337-7026)

•Glover Archibold Garden, 42nd Street and New Mexico Avenue NW (Arline Terry, 965-2690)

•Fort Reno Garden, Belt Road and Chesapeake Street NW (Martha Hamilton, 362-1434)

•Melvin Hazen Garden, Sedgewick Street and Connecticut Avenue NW (Armand Lione, 244- 1384)

•Rock Creek Garden, Old Bingham Road off Oregon Avenue NW (Bob Fleming, 686-5280)

•Garden at 28th Street and Cathedral Avenue NW (Cathy Reuter, 463-5446)


•Takoma Community Garden, 7214 Blair Road NW (Paula Nersesian, 301-270-6413)

•Takoma Recreation Center Garden, 3rd and Van Buren streets NW (David Jackson, 726-1290)

•Emery Garden, Georgia Avenue and Madison Street NW (Alice Martin, 529-1766)

•Fort Stevens Garden, Fort Stevens Drive and 13th Street NW (ask at garden)

•Peabody Garden, Peabody and 8th streets NW (Wesley Jones, 882-7503)

•Blair Road Garden, Blair Road and New Hampshire Avenue NW (Howard Williams, 529-4824 or 529-3683)

•Mamie D. Lee Garden, 100 Gallatin St. NE (ask at garden)


•Brookland Garden, 7th and Hamilton streets NE (Betty Williams, 529-6308)

*Brookland Community Garden Project, 7th and Monroe streets NE (Christine Scheltema, 703-308-2201 or 202-526-1227)

•Montana Garden, 17th Street and Montana Avenue NE (Charles Tomlinson, 529-0324)

•Langston-Carver Terrace Garden, 21st Street and Maryland Avenue NE (Valerie Ragland 426-7723)


•Hilton Garden, 220 6th St. NE (Ken LePoer-547-3938)

•Rear 12th Street Garden, 1219 D. St. NE (ask at garden)

•Binders Garden, 13th and E streets NE (Lacy Bigello, 396-7444)

•Capitol East Garden, Kings Court SE between 14th and 15th streets, south of South Carolina Avenue (Lewis Perry, 547-2724)


•Deanwood Garden, 1118 48th St. NE (Julius Hawkins, 398-2557)

•Sarah E. Compton Gar-den, 814 44th St. NE (Eugene Williams, 397-3182)

•Fort Dupont Park Gar-dens, Fort Dupont and Fort Davis NE and F Street NE (Valerie Ragland, 426-7723)


•Urban Oasis Farm, Anacostia (GROW, 234-0591)

Copyright 1999, The Common Denominator