Cincinnati urban garden remains in place

April 1, 2013 by  

Plans to build housing on top of an urban garden have been changed. The Cincinnati City Council originally planned a housing development called ‘Citirama 2014’ that would have taken over two-thirds of the land now used by the Eco Garden. Eco Garden is a community garden that has been in existence since the mid-1990s and is now run by Permaganic Co., a non-profit organization.

According to Meg Oldberding, spokeswoman for the city, the Eco Garden will be able to continue operating under the terms agreed upon in its lease with an organization called the Civic Garden Center. The Eco Garden, which is located at 1718 Main Street, offers approximately 10 teenagers stipends for working in the garden during an entire nine-month cycle – from planting to growing to the harvest. Community councils in several communities surrounding Cincinnati, including Pendleton and Mount Auburn, spoke in favor of keeping the garden in operation, estimating that between 150-200 teens, most from needy families, have participated in the program over the years. The paid internships the Garden offers have been a boon to low-income teens.

The garden comprises approximately an acre and a half, and produced more than 1,700 pounds of greens, peaches, kale, and other produce in 2012. Permaganic sells produce grown in the garden at Findlay Market. The garden has proven so effective, city officials are considering expanding it to other Cincinnati neighborhoods.

Managers of social ventures commonly work with brochure printing experts to create materials that explain what the program offers to the community. The brochures are usually distributed in the community and schools in particular.