The term “community garden” (or “urban garden”) is generally used to describe plots of land, either owned publicly or privately, that are used to produce food or flowers, and is collectively owned and managed by a group of people. The benefits of having community or urban gardens are close to endless; from combating food insecurity for residents, to creating a useful and productive community activity, and even promoting an improved community morale.
Do these things all sound familiar? These might also be benefits of gaming at your bingo hall! Why not join the two for a community garden event?
Get creative with this event—it is spring, after all! Consider seeking sponsorship from urban land trusts or local nurseries; restaurants or supper clubs; or even locally-owned grocers or cafes. These small businesses might be good avenues for monetary donations, or product donations. Donated prizes can range from gardening supplies for players’ own gardening efforts to gift cards for these various businesses. It might also be fun to have representatives from any of your sponsors attend the event and give gardening tips, provide food for players, or explain the benefits of growing your own food and sustainability.
This event may even up your attendance and bring in new players: because you’re teaming up with another community effort, your reach will go farther beyond your normal player base-- community members who are passionate about sustainability and/or food security are sure to contribute! Consider asking your sponsors to help advertise the event, by hanging signage in their stores, or by posting on their social media accounts. Another idea is to offer discounts on game play or pull tabs to first-time players.
This is an event with staying-power: take this opportunity to fill your event calendar with weekly or monthly events throughout the spring and summer months and help local food sustainability efforts over and over!
If you’re interested in learning more about Urban Gardening efforts, check out a couple of these helpful resources:
- Urban Farming Organization
- The Ecology Center: 10 Ways Urban Farms Benefit The Community
- National Public Radio: Replacing Vacant Lots With Green Spaces Can Ease Depression In Urban Communities