• PO Box 17014, Huntsville, AL 35810
  • 256-281-1344
  • info@developmentforafrica.org

Ivy City Community Garden

In an effort to enhance the access to healthy, quality food in the predominately African community of Ivy City, Washington DC; AAPDEP members initiated a community garden project with the support from the surrounding community.

This community suffereds from numerous vacant lots and dilapidated buildings; seemingly AAPDEP Member Jaleel checks for water at abandoned houseforgotten about in the City’s plans for development.

AAPDEP DC was able to identify that almost all the vacant lots were owned by the city and thusly made great efforts to gain DC government’s permission to use any of the 12+ vacant lots that currently existed in the area.

Initially AAPDEP DC was met with resistance by the DC government. The possibility of using at least one spot but that slowly dwindled to a complete shutdown, by the City to use any city-owned vacant area in the community, citing that these areas were slated for development.

Although, the website indicates that the plan is to build affordable housing by claiming vacant lots and old buildings using the power of “eminent domain, acquisition and disposition” the historical reality of African people in the US, is that usually we are pushed out of our neighborhoods to make way for “affordable” condos and townhouses, a tactic known as gentrification.

No trespassing signs put up by the City in all of the vacant lots

After months of bureaucracy AAPDEP DC decided to move forward with the project and to deal with the City whenever they decided come. On April 11, 2010 AAPDEP DC began digging out areas to place containers for intended container garden. The decision to do container gardening was determined as a way to teach the residents how they can do this in their own homes. In an urban area like Washington DC, where space is limited, we have to learn ways to grow food even if we don’t have a backyard.

The project closed, with the garden intact,  as the focus shifted to the community of Barry Farms.
End: This project has ended. See a list of our ongoing projects that you can donate to.