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I need some experienced advice

Posted by
earthgoddess1 - CA
( on
Tue, May 30, 00 at 19:37

I'm wanting to start up community gardens in my area as well as gardening programs at local schools. There are many empty lots in my neighborhood in West Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California. Does anyone know how to find out who owns these properties?
I am also wondering if anyone has done community garden programs in public schools. What was that like? How did you get the cooperation of the school system for land, water, etc.
Has anyone approached private or non-profit schools and child care centers and facilitated programs there?
I'm really interested in getting some of these earth honoring and earth loving programs implamented in the next year. The children in this part of the world need more exposure to Mother Earth, the power of creation, and the cycle of life that these practices can teach. Please help and inspire. Thank you.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: I need some experienced advice

Most counties (or maybe your state or municipality) have tax rolls that are open under some Public Information legislation that you can access to get the owner of a property and their address/phone no. This should cost you nothing but time, or it may cost a nominal amount.
The City of New York Green Guerillas have lots of gardens on vacant properties (many of which they now own) like you want, so a search for their website may help. Urban Harvest is my local (Houston) community gardening organization, and we have much info on school gardens. Contact them at Urban or call at 713.880.5540.
Peace and good gardening.

RE: I need some experienced advice

Hi EarthGoddess, Garden Goddess here. You need to talk to me. I live in West LA and am involved in a community garden that is on school district property. I both have rented lots and am a teacher with a student lot. At this point, I don't advise what you're thinking; but if you get the facts first, write an excellent permit and very specific rules and regulations or contract, it might work. Drop a msg at my e-mail if you are interested in getting together. :)

RE: I need some experienced advice

Bless You!!! Putting in a community garden will be one of the most rewarding efforts you will have. I put in two gardens. One at a housing complex and one at a home for abandoned children. You might have a problem if you try to go through the city. My town talked about liability. Best bet is to use an abandoned lot and get publicity. The city will love it after the fact! Contact your local extension service. If they have a Master Gardener course you will have ton's of volunteers getting community service hours towards their certificates. Contact the local nurseries and you will be amazed at the free plants and seeds. Good Luck!!

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