As part of the “vibrant heartbeat” of the Burton Street neighborhood of West Asheville, these “peace gardens” are more than just something pretty to look at. Rather, they encourage a sense of community through food, art, garden plots, economic opportunities, activities, and education. Among the many social missions of the organization is the goal to grow food with and for Burton Street and surrounding neighborhoods. Centering around the motto “focus not on your obstacles, but your creative maneuvers around them,” these gardens have been bringing neighbors together for the greater good since 2003. Learn more in the video below:
The vision for a community peace garden arose in a time of great need. In the early 2000s, the Burton Street neighborhood was going through a turbulent time. Drug deals were taking place in broad daylight, trash and pollution lined the streets, and many people felt safer at home and isolated from their neighbors. The organizers of the project were also inspired to create something positive by the suffering they saw in the news during the early days of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The gardens have now been uplifting the community and bringing people together for more than 15 years. The biggest event of the year is the Harvest Festival during the fall, which features musical performances, seminars on cooking and plant-based medicine, art exhibitions and pick-up sports. As a major hub of the Asheville arts scene, much of the art on display has a special focus on creative re-use of what would otherwise end up in a landfill. To stay up to date on what’s happening at the gardens, tap the link below and like them on Facebook.
Cover image: "Martin and Malcom" by My Mom is Wolves is licensed under (CC BY-NC 2.0).