Environmental Action and Urban Revitalization

Since the 1960s and 1970s, people and grassroots organizations have come together to build community gardens that promote environmental stewardship and revitalize urban neighborhoods affected by disinvestment. 

Jones Valley Teaching Farm

A rain barrel at the Jones Valley Urban Farm in Birmingham, Alabama reduces water use by recycling rainwater from the pavilion roof for use in the garden. Garden Club of America Collection Archives of American Gardens, Smithsonian Institution. 

Las Parcelas

Las Parcelas garden in the Norris Square neighborhood of Philadelphia was designed to be more than a garden. Murals and a teaching space were designed to celebrate and educate visitors about the Puerto Rican heritage shared by many of the residents in this neighborhood. The building, called “la casita” evokes the small houses of Puerto Rico and is used as a teaching space. The murals at the garden honor leaders in the community and depict the passing down of traditions to younger generations. Garden Club of America Colleciton, Archives of American Gardens, Smithsonian Institution.