Robbie Newport

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6 Tips for Setting Up Community Gardens in HOA Neighborhoods

6 Tips for Setting Up Community Gardens in HOA Neighborhoods                                                                                           cc from

In the modern digital age we're living in, setting up a community garden may be exactly what HOA neighborhoods need to get their members off their digital devices and back to nature a bit. 

Community gardens promote positive relationships within neighborhoods, provide healthy activities for people of all ages, and if done well produce a good amount of healthy food.

In an effort to help planners get their thoughts aligned, here are 6 tips for setting up community gardens in HOA neighborhoods.

Gain and Gauge Support from Homeowners

Board members and homeowners interested in starting a community garden should start by gauging the support for the idea with community members. 

Planners can gain and gauge support with methods such as:

- surveys

- emails
- text messages
- phone calls
- flyers
- word of mouth
- announcements at board meetings
- articles
- fundraiser events 

The main idea is to see how much support there is for such an idea; just keep in mind that some people may get excited about the idea only once it gets started.

If enough support is gained, board members and those directly involved can get started on the planning aspects.

Gathering Ideas

After consulting with the HOA's lawyer to make sure of the legalities of such a project, planners can begin gathering ideas for the community garden.

This might include asking interested homeowners to share their ideas and desires for the community garden space; also, planners can conduct some research online to see what other HOAs have done with their community gardens.

Decide on the Space and Scope of Project

Sometimes unused space in common areas is what sparked the thought of a community garden in the first place, yet if this isn't the case, an adequate space needs to be chosen. 

Planners can now use the information and research they've gathered to chose the perfect place for the garden. The amount of funds available for the project will need to be considered when choosing a space as well.

As the garden plot is being chosen, planners should take into considerations any other projects they may want to add to the area. For example:

- picnic area

- horseshoe pit
- dog park
- BBQ area
- small outside amphitheater

Building a community garden may be the beginning of other connected projects, bringing a larger scope to the project that must be considered when choosing a location.

Establishing Rules and Fees

Two important tasks for planners to accomplish is establishing the rules (if any) to govern the community garden and deciding what fees will be associated with it.

Having rules will ensure the garden is kept up and the plots are used in a manner that represents the HOA neighborhood.

Requiring a small fee will help board members pay for any project expenses and upkeep while making sure those who sign up are serious about using their assigned plot.

Outside Expertise

Planners may want to routinely bring in some outside garden expertise to help participants learn how to garden. 
This will give beginners more confidence in their ability to get started and help experienced gardeners refresh their skills.

Enjoying the Community Garden

The last tip is to enjoy the positive effects of having a community garden. This is a project idea that really doesn't take a lot of effort, yet promises to bring the community together in a positive way.

Community gardens give HOA members of all ages a reason to come together and get away from their digital devices while learning how to grow healthy foods and enjoy the outdoors.

HOA neighborhoods need positive influences to create community cohesion and community gardens are sure to do just that.

Originally published on Business and Society Articles Aug. 16, 2018

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Robbie Newport

Robbie Newport

2 years ago #6

That's great, sounds like a good operation, those little efforts combine to make a bigger effort, which, again, teaches us important lessons analogous to our lives. Sort of like writing an article, at first it may seem nearly impossible, a large undertaking, yet in the end, it actually makes sense and we can appreciate the result. Sounds like your garden next year will be the same.

Robbie Newport

Robbie Newport

2 years ago #5

I agree Franci, especially for those in apartment complexes; community gardens give people something to focus on and put their energy into, which in the end results in good food too.

Robbie Newport

Robbie Newport

2 years ago #4

Exactly Preston, they provide a positive activity for the community and a way for people to connect in our digital world. Some people have forgotten that it was only around 100 years ago when 90 percent of people worked in agriculture; farming (gardening) is in our instinctual DNA. Hopefully, the extra dirt works!

Robbie Newport

Robbie Newport

2 years ago #3

That's great Joyce, I think it would be worth the effort. I like the idea of community gardens in areas outside of HOA neighborhoods too, such as urban gardens in the inner cities. This would give people a way to get back to nature in the concrete jungle, as well as build positive community ties; these could also be expanded to having multiple tiny homes for homeless people who need a way to get back on their feet, they could supervise and guard the gardens. Best wishes with your garden project!

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Community gardens are a great idea, IMO. I used to live in an apartment complex, where there was a community garden and it worked out well.

Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

Sebastian, who works in the leasing office of our community here, told me today he would like to start a community garden. There is so much land here. I was a landlord for 31 years and it will be a difficult undertaking from what I've seen in my life. Still--it's worth the effort if he wants to undertake the task. I'm going to print your article out for him.

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