Urban gardens and urban forests have been growing in popularity over the years. The goal of community gardens is transforming small, simple spaces into beautiful areas that can be used in many ways. Community gardens are not only for vegetables, but for trees, shrubs and grasses as well.
Community gardens can be started by individuals, created by community groups or sponsored by local organizations. Recently Hy-Vee has helped sponsor grants to communities to plant gardens. In Madison, a local community center, DSS Community Club, spent the summer teaching middle school kids how to plant all types of vegetation and take care of their environment.
The popularity of these spaces has grown because they can be created anywhere. Urban right-of-ways have been beautified by groups to include trees and other vegetation that lessen environmental and social impacts (pollution, storm water, erosion, crime rate). It is important to consider the use of trees and vegetation when planning urban areas to help reduce certain risks in a potentially cost effective way. Trees keep supply the community and urban areas with benefits long after they are planted.
For more information contact Ellen Clark (EllenA.Clark@Wisconsin.gov), Urban Forestry Communication Specialist, at 608-267-2774.