Backed by our Burnett Community Garden and neighbored by residences and an elementary school, Greenwich Garden this winter received its first major facelift since SCLT established the green space in 2011. Led by Andrew Cook, Community Garden Network Director, and Blong Yang, Garden Network Associate, the project brought together SCLT staff, Greenwich gardeners, and volunteers from partner organizations who got their hands dirty to help make important improvements to the busy garden.
Twenty gardeners cultivate 38 plots at Greenwich Garden. A majority of them live within walking distance, by design. Greenwich’s gardeners are mainly individuals and families, with a few who sell their produce at local markets. In the garden, you’ll hear Swahili, Kirundi, and French spoken. The Garden Network team worked with Marie Uwera to develop the project. Uwera has served as Garden Leader since its 2011. With a network of 22 community gardens in the Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls area, the team maintains an active priority list of projects and is kept busy addressing them throughout the year.
Some garden bed walls had been replaced here and there through the years, but after more than a decade of piecemeal patches, the garden’s years were showing. The goals in the remodel were many. Eliminating redundant pathways between plots increases plantable space. It also means fewer bed edges to maintain, meaning the project is less expense in the long run. Before the revamp, walking paths disrupted the distance between beds and barrier fences; now, gardeners can plant climbing plants and use the fences to trellis their growth. The project is climate smart, too, with the design shown to provide better temperature modulation and improved water retention.
Lending a hand to Andrew and Blong, several other SCLT staff picked up shovels and pitched in. We owe special thanks to volunteers from UNFI, who weren’t afraid to dive into the project, helping with everything from hauling lumber to weed whacking. Youth Staff from SCLT’s Pawtucket Youth Program spent a shift clearing the site and readying it for the coming growing season.
Interested in a plot? Read more about our Community Gardens program.