Being a community garden coordinator is such a rewarding job because we help people make connections with their neighbors, their greater community, and with the environment in P-Patch gardens.
Seattle, WA (PRWEB) August 27, 2013
Local 17 represents the Community Garden Coordinators at the City of Seattle who help City residents foster a love of gardening, community, and nutrition.
The P-Patch Program is a community program of the City of Seattle's Department of Neighborhoods and is open to Seattle residents. Residents benefit because P-Patches are an open space resource for all members of the community, not just gardeners, and are places to share love of gardening, cultivate friendships, strengthen neighborhoods, increase self-reliance, wildlife habitat, foster environmental awareness, relieve hunger, improve nutrition, and enjoy recreational and therapeutic opportunities.
“[The P-Patch Program] is a really great thing for the community. It’s great to see the City do something so constructive and so positive,” said Ed Weeks, a volunteer at the Westcrest P-Patch. “Getting to know all of these great people is really interesting. I love looking at all of these different gardens. It’s beautiful, it’s relaxing, it’s just a nice, nice thing. I preserve everything. I’ll be eating out of my garden.”
City staff partner with volunteers, the P-Patch Trust, Seattle Housing Authority, and other agencies to support, develop and manage community gardening in Seattle. Gardeners volunteer to coordinate the tasks and activities.
“I love working for the P-Patch Program because the gardens help people connect with the nature and community in a very tactile way,” said Local 17 member Sandy Pernitz, Community Garden Coordinator.
“Being a community garden coordinator is such a rewarding job because we help people make connections with their neighbors, their greater community, and with the environment in P-Patch gardens. It’s always so wonderful to see the community reap the benefits of new friendships, fresh tasty food, beautiful public open spaces, and neighborhood pride at the P-Patch gardens,” added Minh Chau Le, Member and Community Garden Coordinator.
Other Coordinators who work on the P-Patch program include: Julie Bryan, Laura Raymond, Bunly Yun, Kenya Fredie, Minh Chau Le and Sandy Pernitz, along wtih Lisa Uemoto as the Adminstrative Specialist and Rich Macdonald, Supervisor.
Garden plot sizes vary, typically they range between 40 and 400 square feet. P-Patch Community Gardens can have individual garden plot rentals with some collectively gardened space. They can be any vegetable or fruit that is organic or flowers. Additionally, most P-Patches have a “giving garden” program to provide fresh produce for those in need. Many P-Patches also have plots designated as “food bank plots” that are communally or individually gardened specifically to grow food for donation.
Some P-Patches are elaborate like the one in the Eastlake neighborhood. In fact, the Eastlake garden has been expanded over the last decade and has involved working with several City departments including Parks, Transportation, and Neighborhoods and tons of volunteers to transform the space from vacant to beautiful.
Volunteer Lisa Hummel is a garden desginer and worked with volunteer coordinators Barbara Donnette and Mary Jones to almost double the size of the Eastlake garden. They each have their own plot as well as organize work parties and planning. They say their work is extremely rewarding.
“Why I love my P-Patch . . . let me count the ways: fresh organic produce for my family all year long; gardening as a part of my community; meeting new friends, donating to food banks; working together to build the garden/bonding with fellow workers; and contributing something permanent to my community,” said Donette.