Save our community gardens
Save our community gardens
Deal fellow Palo Alto residents,
Our community gardens are at risk and need your help. Please sign this petition in support of keeping our community gardens.
In a time where the world is facing more climate change crises than ever, where we have all suffered from isolation due to the pandemic, and we all have seen how important social programs are for communities, we need to maintain community gardens.
Whether you make use of a community garden or not, you benefit from the ones we have here in Palo Alto. Here are just some of the benefits:
Important and threatened habitat – we have many, many plants in our community gardens, including plant selections that provide important habitat for threatened species, such as the monarch butterfly.
Biodiversity – the range of plants in our gardens adds to biodiversity, a crucial element of suitability. Think of a disease that attacks and kills one type of plant or tree (think of Dutch Elm disease). If we have just a few types of plants and trees, they can easily be wiped out. But if we increase biodiversity in the city, we help create resilience against such devastation.
Carbon capture – the plants in a community garden capture carbon that would otherwise be in our atmosphere, adding to global warming.
Cooling effects – all the plant life in our community gardens provides cooling effects that help reduce the ‘heat island effect’ that all cities have due to paved roads and hard surfaces, such as rooftops and parking lots.
Stormwater surge attenuation – plants absorb water, and when there is too much water for them to absorb, they slow down the runoff rate, holding the water like a sponge and letting it trickle out slowly. Though we mostly worry about drought here, stormwater surges are a real threat to any city. When it does rain, we need the rain to drain into the sewer slowly so we do not overload our systems and cause health issues from backups.
Culture, health, and access to good food
Cultural heritage – our community gardens are as diverse as our community. People grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs that are part of their cultural heritage. Such plants are often not available in stores and support cultural heritage for the communities connected to these plants.
Accessibility and healthy food – all the members of the community garden growing vegetables can feed themselves and their family healthy fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Our gardens offer plots to people with lower incomes, giving them agency to grow some of their food and access a healthy diet at a low cost.
Social bonds are created in our community through the gardens. People of different ages and socio-economic backgrounds build shared experiences here. We also bond with the people in our local neighborhood, sharing our harvest with them when we have too much.
Community gardens are an essential signal in the community. They show that we care about more than work, profit, and increasing share prices. It shows we care about the environment, culture, and social bonds.
Please support your local community gardens by letting the city of Palo Alto know you think they are vital. Visit us this fall, and we’ll happily share our giant zucchini harvest with you.