A community garden in Saginaw Township (Google / mLive)

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Book “Seedfolks” inspires plans for a community garden in Saginaw Township

by Janet I. Martineau | The Saginaw News

Saturday January 31, 2009

From a tiny paperback book, the seeds of a large-scale community project are sewing.

“We hope people read about this and say, ‘Cool. I want a patch to plant,'” says Colleen M. Carty.

The idea taking root is a community garden on a piece of property owned by Saginaw Township. Flowers and vegetables growing there, planted by all ages and cultural backgrounds in the changing township, within the shadow of the new paved walking/running path from Shattuck to McCarty.

“It’s about an acre in size,” says Saginaw Township Planner Bridget Smith of the property, “and is behind the Center Courts building (on Center, across from Heritage High School). It’s all kind of hazy now, the plans for this. But we’re in on it.”

Carty is one of four Saginaw Township Community School organizers who have, since 2002, sponsored community books reads in partnership with other organizations.

One of the book was “Amy,” which dealt with Internet predators and resulted in a community forum discussing the issue.

This year the chosen book is Paul Fleischman’s 102-page “Seedfolks” — fictional vignettes in which 13 multicultural people tell their story about how a garden project transformed a Cleveland neighborhood.

So far, says Carty, communities in eight states have used the book for community reads resulting in community projects. And Fleischman maintains a web site that offers a teachers guide in using the book.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.