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Phillips neighborhood group strives to make 'communal' gardens

Neighbors Connecting for Action in Phillips (NCAP), a new community group for Minneapolis’s Phillips neighborhood, is organizing a couple of “communal” gardens in the area.

Unlike the typical community garden structure where people sign up for a certain garden plot, participants will pool their efforts in the project, according to Jude Ortiz, an NCAP representative. “We’re coming together as neighbors to grow plants for each other,” he says, adding, “It’ll be collaborative, based on what people can do.”   

One garden at 28th and Portland Avenue South will focus on perennial plants, including various native species.

NCAP has an agreement with the Sustainable Resources Center in Northeast Minneapolis to work the land, according to Ortiz. There were gardening efforts there in the past, but there's been nothing in recent years, he says.

A second garden at 26th Street and 13th Avenue South, which has a longer, more fruitful history, will grow produce.  

To get the gardens going, the group has been pulling together community members. It's planning  meetings at both places for April 15. Attendees will begin discussing the design of the gardens at these gatherings.

Because NCAP is working without much of a budget, they’re trying to get as many donations of supplies and plants as possible. Already, “There’s a lot of interest and creativity going into it,” Ortiz says.

NCAP sees the gardens as “important to restore the urban ecosystem” and to provide access to healthy, organic food. It’s also an educational opportunity, helping the community become more self-sufficient, he says.

Further, having this kind of green space “creates an oasis in the city for people and other species,” he says.

Source: Jude Ortiz, NCAP
Writer: Anna Pratt
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