Over the past decade, this triangular lot at St. Anthony and Raymond Avenue in St. Paul went from a city-mowed blandness to a beautiful flower garden with benches and paths, all through the time and talent and care of Master Gardener Karen Wargo. She was recognized by the Minnesota Horticultural Society and the Blooming Saint Paul Program for her work in creating a beautiful community space on city property.
Last fall, Karen began to turn over the garden to the stewardship of a group of neighbors, and on May 2, a group turned out to clean the garden. Kathy Franzen has organized weeding, watering, composting, and every possible kind of caretaking by a community group of about 25 neighbors. If you live in the Desnoyer Park area and would like to get involved, email Kathy Franzen at email@example.com.
The garden is named the Red River Ox-Cart Trail Heritage Garden because it is located on the trail, at the historical marker. The Red River Ox-Cart Trail ran from the Red River Valley to St. Paul in the mid-19th century. Ox-carts, with wheels as tall as a person, creaked along the trail, bringing fur to the city and taking supplies back. The ox-carts had large, all-wood wheels, and the axles made a very loud creaking noise.
Franzen says that community gardening has not only esthetic and social benefits, but also a positive impact on home values. According to a study of community gardens in New York City:
We find that community gardens have, on average, significant positive effects on surrounding property values, and that those effects are driven by th epoorest of host neighborhoods (where a garden raises neighboring property values by as much as 9.4 percentage points within five years of the garden’s opening).
For more information on community gardens in the Twin Cities, check out Gardening Matters. And to share your community garden stories on the Daily Planet, you can write the story of your community garden – or write the story of your community garden send a photo – or put us in touch with someone who could tell the story! Questions? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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