SUPPORT_ for Garden Shed + Tool Lending Library

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The garden shed will be built in the Aurora/St. Anthony Peace Sanctuary Garden which serves residents of the Aurora/St. Anthony neighborhood of St. Paul, a community that was once part of the historic Rondo neighborhood before it was cut in half by Interstate Highway 94. The neighborhood has suffered the consequences of high numbers of predatory loans and lacks easy access to parks and to healthy foods but is rich in diversity and families. The Peace Garden is a small oasis where neighbors can meet and where kids can learn about growing food and flowers.

In 2004, Metric Giles and Seitu Jones in collaboration with what is now the Gordon Parks High School began the Aurora/St. Anthony Peace Garden. Their vision for the garden was to create access to healthy food, to provide environmental learning opportunities for young people and families, and to build relationships among neighbors. They were inspired by Nelson Mandela’s words about how gardens can heal:

“A garden was one of the few things in prison that one could control. To plant a seed, watch it grow, to tend it and then harvest it, offered a simple but enduring satisfaction. The sense of being the custodian of this small patch of earth offered a taste of freedom.” 

In our neighborhoods where many people suffer the effects of racial and economic disparities, a connection to the earth, a sense of purpose and personal control, and the feeling of freedom can be a balm for the body and soul.

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