Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Peace House: My favorite Kalamazoo community garden (and orchard!)

This is an article about the Peace House.. a place started on the Eastside of Kalamazoo by two families of K'97 alums. After recieving community funds to build a community garden and playground in their backyard, they bought an empty side lot (where a foreclosed house had previously been). Last summer, when I interned with them, we planted an urban orchard on that lot. (It was difficult, as the cement from base of the house had been left behind in random spots--but it was a group effort!)

One question that my carpool group asked as we drove back home on Tuesday was, "So once we plant this garden, who is going to maintain it?" That is a great question, and we should ask Catie today how the Landbank plans to make sure that the Edison garden does not fall by the wayside. In the case of the Peace House, it's a residential garden open to the public, and the residents take care of it for he most part, while enlisting the help of neighbors and friends when needed.

What do you think?


  1. I am definitely interested in if and how the garden will be maintained. Will there be other volunteer groups that take over maintenance after we're done, or will it be the responsibility of neighborhood residents?

  2. I can see both being used. During planting we met some neighbors that were trying to maintain the neighborhood. They're out there.

  3. I praise you guys for making the difference~

  4. I think one of the ultimate goals of the gardens is to encourage people to make more of a commitment and invest more in their neighborhoods. If the neighborhood looks nice then people will want to be there, and if they want to be there then they will be more committed to making the area look nice. It seems like a cyclical process to me....volunteers may need to get the ball rolling by doing the initial planting, but hopefully over time the residents will take over.