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  • Doug Smith

Transitional community gardens


During my first term on Worthington City Council I developed a program to promote the cultivation of edible plants on public land. The idea came from a culmination of resident input and my experience growing up on a farm. I always wondered why local governments couldn’t use their unused land to plant/cultivate edible plants.

I called this concept the ‘transitional community garden’ program. After spending time researching the idea and mapping unused space in Worthington, I decided this idea would work in Worthington with some success. In my research, I found that many city parks and spaces already had mature fruit trees and brambles. I mapped these edible plants on a public Google map and gave a presentation to Council.

The Dispatch learned about this program and wrote an article about it. Subsequently an author named Darrin Nordahl wrote a book about public gardens and devoted a chapter in his book about the ‘transitional garden’ program.

The National League of Cities invited me to give a presentation about it at their national convention in Austin that year.

As a traditional conservative I believe it is important to take care of our land and implement programs and policies that enhance our natural surroundings.


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