The South Side Community Gardens and Urban Agriculture Working Group has several related aims. We enable residents of South Bethlehem and members of the Lehigh community to gain access to convenient, inexpensive plots of land for gardening. By fostering community gardens, we aim to increase access to high quality, affordable fruit and vegetables on the South Side. Through the cultivation of these gardens, we promote forms of community that will encourage new patterns of social interaction and integration, and enable all of us to learn more about our neighbors. Through the expansion of the gardens – and through related educational programming in South Side public schools and at Lehigh – the gardens project fosters several kinds of knowledge: about environmental sustainability, about healthy eating, about the many challenges facing local and global systems of food production, and about the rich and varied food ways of our diverse community. Finally, as the gardens project expands, we hope that urban agriculture may ultimately provide employment opportunities and new sources of income for people living and working on the South Side.
We are already supporting several community gardens on the South Side: at Martin Luther King, Jr. park (Carlton Avenue), at the Esperanza Garden (Between Taylor and Webster Streets on the South Bethlehem Greenway), and at Ullman Park (Sassafras and Route 378). For more information about how to get involved, please contact the SSI Community Gardens Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is also a community garden located at Lehigh’s Goodman Campus. For more information about participating in the Lehigh Garden, please contact Katelyn Armbruster at email@example.com.
This year the Community Gardens Working Group will be developing the new Esperanza Garden on the Greenway. For more information about plans for this garden and how you can get involved, contact the SSI Community Gardens Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the second summer session of 2015, Lehigh University will be offering a course on Urban Agriculture Policy, Planning, and Practice, which will again be co-taught by a professional urban planner and a farmer from the Rodale Institute. If you would like more information on this course, please contact Breena Holland at email@example.com.
For information on the Greenway Native Plants Project, please click here. In collaboration with the College of Eduation at Lehigh, Rodale Institute will create and maintain an organic garden on Lehigh University's Mountaintop Campus where they will conduct monthly workshops for all community members. Staff members of Rodale Institute will share information about the various components of organic gardening. Workshops are open to all and free.
For more information and to register for the workshops, visit http://rodaleinstitute.org/visit/calendar-of-events.