Why Mount Vernon should embrace Community Gardens

Community Gardens can be a boon for communities like Mount Vernon. Where access to affordable, fresh and organic food is often missing and food deserts end up offering unhealthy food options such as processed food and fast food, there is a great benefit to creating a community of gardens. These gardens provide accessibility to fresh food, provide educational opportunities for children and adults and bring communities together by allowing neighbors to become active in taking ownership of building and maintaining green spaces. Active communities experience less crime and vandalism, when everyone is on board with raising the quality of life in their neighborhood, everyone benefits.

Community Gardens also help boost our small business sector, where local business can buy local vegetables, fruits and flowers to sell in their businesses and helps grow our local farmer’s market. When you keep the resources in Mount Vernon everyone profits from the success and money continues to circulate within our community, helping provide volunteer opportunities, jobs and new entrepreneurial experiences.

There is support for community gardens amongst the community, however, as Mount Vernon continues to build up its residential housing stock, with over 800+ units and hundreds of millions being poured into development, the community and elected officials should make sure that zoning laws and further policies protect community gardens and embrace a green future.

Mount Vernon has a great opportunity to push forward with creating more community gardens across the city. The gardens at Amani Charter School & Graham School is a model of how successful it can be in Mount Vernon and it should be replicated across the board. Not-for-Profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Volunteer NY have been spearheading the push for more green spaces in communities like Mount Vernon and as councilman I would support them.