Building Neighborhoods with Community Gardens

by Kelli Mirgeaux

Serving as the Mapleton-Fall Creek’s community tool in rebuilding and revitalizing the area, Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation (MFCDC) examines all things that give a place its identity, makes it an attractive place to live, and provides a good quality of life for all its residents. It is our mission to support the needs of the community and work with our residents to bring about positive improvements which benefit the entire area.

One such area of impact is an increased amount of neighborhood gardens in Mapleton-Fall Creek. Community Gardens not only provide health benefits to neighbors with fresh food production, but an opportunity for residents to build new relationships and foster the development of a community spirit and identity. MFCDC has seen momentum in neighborhood groups working together to transform abandoned lots into usable greenspace, ultimately increasing surrounding property values and providing environmental benefits by filtering rainwater and recycling tree trimmings, leaves and other organic wastes back into the soil.

With access to fresh produce right outside their doors and rising food costs elsewhere, residents are also able to save a few dollars while enjoying fresh food they themselves grew. One such example in Mapleton-Fall Creek is the Broadway Community Garden, developed and maintained by passionate residents committed to healthy lifestyles, beautifying their street and building relationships with each other. The group organizes work events such as social gatherings to create a more relaxed and fun environment while still developing and maintaining the garden space in a sustainable manner. Working together, the group has constructed compost bins, planted trees, created signage for the garden, and conducted outreach with residents to increase participation in the garden.

This dedicated group of residents serves as an example for other neighborhood groups as to how you can work together for positive change in your own backyard.

Kelli serves as the communications & outreach coordinator at Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation (http://mfcdc.org/)