The development of the River Revival’s riverside community gardens on River Street and Sperry Avenue was indeed a community effort. The River Revival and the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition presented the idea of a community garden to each neighborhood and outlined the benefits. Once there was sufficient interest, our High School students designed and built the beds for each neighborhood, acknowledging the different needs each group had. A local gardening company donated the soil, and some of the seeds came from our alternative high school’s garden.
Now in our fifth year of supporting two community gardens, we have a professional managing the entire process, working with the respective neighborhoods on the choice of seeds to plant, providing information on garden maintenance and harvesting, and suggesting recipes for the garden ingredients. To celebrate the success of the gardens, we hold an annual neighborhood pizza party, using our own herbs and vegetables. One of the highlights is cooking everything in the adjacent community oven which was built by a visiting artist from the nearby MASS MoCA.