Garden Awards recognize Crusaders

Posted by Christine, November 1, 2010

Categories include Education, Urban Renewal, Feeding the Hungry,  Restoration. Mike Devlin of Camden, New Jersey, America’s poorest small city, received the grand prize . 

For 25 years, Mike has been bringing community gardens and educational programs to the residents of Camden, NJ. He has helped build community gardens across the city, created a children’s garden, developed educational programs and much more.

The statistics for Camden have long been grim. It has been designated the poorest small city in the country — and the most dangerous. Half of its residents are under 20 years old, and 60 percent of its young people don’t graduate from high school.

According to a new study by the University of Pennsylvania, the city has another, more positive, designation: Camden, NJ, has the distinction of being the city with the fastest growing community gardens in the country.

Mike said this growth of community gardening in Camden is driven by intense need — and the surprising amount of available land. Poverty is rampant and there’s little access to quality food and fresh produce. One full-service supermarket serves 80,000 city residents. At the same time, there are 12,000 abandoned lots in Camden and the city owns 4,000 of them.

http://www.gardeners.com/Garden-Crusader-Awards/5549,default,pg.html