Friday, March 26, 2010

GANG and IU SPEA Project - Weekly Blog Update

This spring semester 2010, an Indiana University undergraduate class of 35 students is learning how to design and construct a state-of-the-art compost system for the GANA garden. This class, “E400 Environmental Sustainability,” has been created by Melissa Clark, a lecturer at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Various members of this class have been assigned to write a blog. This week's post(s) follow.

The project is finally starting to get underway with all the groups now that we are back from spring break.

The Design Group has been researching different compost designs and calling local hardware stores to estimate each design's price. They are currently in the process of finishing their official report which will be submitted to the GANA so they can make their final selection for which compost design will be constructed.

The Budget Group is still working on securing funding from local Bloomington businesses and groups. They have also been in contact with a local construction group that will help with possibly donated materials to build the compost bins.

The City Ordinance Group has visited city hall and spoke with Rachel Johnson about city ordinances pertaining to community gardens on private land. Some details include that retail sales shall be prohibited on the community garden site, except for the sale of produce grown in the community garden. Such sales shall be in compliance with Subsection 20.05.109(b), Farm Produce. Hours of operation shall be restricted to between 5am and 11pm daily. Community gardens shall adhere to the noise standards in Title 14 of the Bloomington Municipal Code. Cultivated areas shall not encroach onto adjacent properties. The community garden site shall be maintained free of high grass in compliance with Title 6 of the Bloomington Municipal Code.

The Bloomington Initiatives Group has found other examples of community gardens in the city of Bloomington and has even visited one such as the Willie Streeter Community Garden near the YMCA on the Southside of town. They are also getting information from the Bloomington, IN Neighborhood Association, which will providing them with the contacts for presidents of local neighborhoods to see if they have any neighborhood garden or composting programs. So far, they have not had any luck finding other neighborhood garden and composting programs not operated by the city. The group has also found that most city operated gardens strongly advocate composting as the primary fertilizer.

The Newsletter Group is still developing the content to include in the neighborhood newsletter. They plan on keeping everyone informed of the general overview of the garden and its purpose and objectives. A more detailed description of why it is important and why we want more community involvement is to be included as well.

Marguerite Kaye Huber
Indiana University
Alpha Gamma Delta

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