Community Gardens Replace Space in Traditionally Dangerous Mpls. Neighborhoods
Photo: Gardening Matters.com
There are more than 5,000 community gardeners throughout Minneapolis and you'll find them any given day in one of the 200 community gardens sprinkled throughout the Twin Cities.
Hidden deep inside the city blocks lie secret gardens known only to those who live here. But the neighborhoods haven't always been desirable places to live.
"Two people died right in front of my house in the street from gun wounds. We had a lot of gang activity," said South Minneapolis gardener Lynne Mayo.
Many of the 36-acres of community garden space throughout Minneapolis are set in the city's most crime-ridden areas.
But the goals are much greater than just cleaning up a neighborhood or beautifying a city. More than 160 of the Twin Cities' 200 community gardens are used to produce food, working both to reduce obesity rates and to provide options for families to save money on groceries.
"Imagine what it means to be saving every little penny," said Hindolo Pokawa.
Pokawa immigrated from Sierra Leone 14 years ago. The new father is looking for work and while he does, he depends on his plot to help him feed his growing family.
"People can really survive on this," he said. "People can really feed their families."
And as for the crime statistics -
"We haven't had any incidents for over four years now," said Mayo.
Something a neighborhood can be proud to represent.