The meeting took place Wednesday night as planned! It was quite cold here in Boise, and that had a toll on the attendance... however, I am not disappointed with the results! One very dedicated volunteer wants to meet with me once a week and work on what needs to get done. I would rather have one very dedicated volunteer than 100 flaky ones. And anyway, you have to start somewhere! So I am, in reality, very pleased.
I also got a call from someone who couldn't attend the meeting, but wanted to be included on any mailing lists and in any events in the future. We ended up talking for a few minutes on the phone, and he had an idea that's really sticking with me: go to the mayor's office hours. If we can convince the mayor that community gardens are important, then, well, they are! So eventually I would like to assemble a small group of people and go to his office hours. Then, together we can present "The Case for Community Gardens".
Another volunteer and I (mostly the volunteer...) are in the process of finding lands suitable for community gardens. This could prove to be fairly difficult... city-owned land has, of course, many restrictions that apply. I'm not going to give up, but I'd like to see all of my options. I came across the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands website, and it got me thinking... what if we could somehow partner with them, and get people to donate land for the use of community gardens? Essentially a community garden land easement, if you will. There would even be something in it for the people who donated the land; they could get a break on their taxes. It's worth a thought anyway... I have absolutely no idea how the whole easement thing works, but their website has been helpful so far, and I'm going to start doing research. It can't hurt.
What is boils down to is this. I've done research on tons of community gardening programs throughout the country (and Canada), but none of them so far are able to offer people land. No matter how many dedicated volunteers you have, they're useless without some land to work on. If we could offer committed gardeners and interested neighborhoods land... and if we could connect donors to Sharing Backyards or some other mapping service... what would stop them from starting a new garden??
In other news, the website should be up and running by mid-January! Finally I won't have to try and remember everything that's happened... I can give a summary and direct people to the website. Eventually, this blog will become a part of that website as well, but that won't happen for a few months yet. No rush...
This is completely unrelated to gardening, but I think it's hilarious. The town where I spent my undergrad, Madison, WI, got pounded by the blizzard this week. They got 17 inches of snow, and when you combine that with a bunch of college kids who have a snow day, you get a huge snowball fight with over 3000 people.
Most of the time I'm very happy to be away from the homework and tests... but this made me miss college a little bit. :)