April 2nd Saturday
By Hiroki Kyo, University of Illinois exchange student in LAS
As Karin mentioned in the previous blog, this series of posts was written by students in the group investigating social spatial aspects of the local community of Lumbisi, Ecuador, ENG 498: Sustainab]e Development Proiject.
I was in the garden for about 2 hours on Saturday morning. It has been a long time since I have played such a long time with soil, weeds, worms and centipedes because I live in city in my country. (Maybe the last time I entered into a garden was when I was in middle school.) It was nothing but fun. I enjoyed the lovely labor and talking with Ms. Blackman and people came to the garden on that windy spring day. I am sharing some information of the garden that I got by asking question to Ms. Blackman today and I will try to analyse (extract) some of the spatial aspects of the Community Garden.
People around the Garden
As I learned in our class and in the garden, the garden is the place for offering fresh vegetables, education, and job training, and Ms. Blackman plays the significant role to facilitate this essential community space. 2000 people were provided food from this garden in 2015, which include the people who live around the garden and through the food pantry of church
(the Champaign church of the Brethren, it takes 3 minutes walking from the garden).
In addition, the garden is also the place of learning for children. There is a school next to the garden and they learn how foods come from the nature. This garden acts as the education center for children. Also, it’s a job-training site for teenagers.
Although it was my first time to visit here and I am a foreigner who came to study abroad, she gave me ?gloves and shared the work for the day as soon as I arrived at the garden and said hello to her . So that I could soon work with people as we have talked about the plants, weather and our city. It seemed like I became a member of the local community of the area. She said “I am almost always here so feel free to visit again.” She is connecting not only the local communities but also communication of individuals.
Thus the Randolgh Street Community Garden is connecting people around the community as an open public space.
Space in the Garden
(The Map of the Garden)
Before becoming this community garden, the space was a school district. The garden is now separated into plots and each plot can be owned by anyone by signing up on the website. Each plot is owned by each group or individual.
We have tons of clues to learn from this community space, which has strong roots in the community, and we can apply to our long-term research and projects.