Monday, April 8, 2013

Want to Build a Guerrilla Garden? This Crowdsourcing Platform Could Help

Wendy Moore
Activist Post

So you know of an open lot in your neighborhood that would be perfect for a community garden. You really, really want to build one, but you don’t quite know how to pull it off. Let’s be honest—the idea of pulling off a garden build can be pretty daunting. You need a lot of supplies, possibly some funds, and, ideally a bunch of people to help—unless you feel like devoting the next couple weekends to digging.

You’ve heard of barn raising, right? That old tradition of collective community action in which the whole community used to gather together to build a barn for their neighbor. At thrdPlace, a newly-launched local platform for social action, we’re bringing it back by tapping online community to drive on-the-ground action.

So, think barn raising and replace it with … community gardens, mural creation, or art pop-ups. We help get the word out and recruit people to get involved by sharing the story of your project through the social networks of each person who comes to your project page and clicks to support your project.

What does this look like in real time? This past weekend we helped the Social Justice Learning Institute, a local Los Angeles nonprofit “dedicated to improving the education, health, and well being of youth and communities of color by empowering them to enact social change through research, training, and community mobilization,” to organize and execute 10 backyard gardens at South L.A. homes as part of their 10 Homes–10 Seeds initiative.

Over 80 community members came together to build 10 community gardens all within a couple hours on Saturday. D’Artagnan Scorza who leads SJLI and created the garden build initiative, shared his experience:
thrdPlace helps us involve and engage our residents in the process. It allows us to generate the type of resources needed by helping find volunteers, funds, and supplies. Not everyone in our community can always give dollars, but they may be able to come out and till the land; they may be able to bring out a shovel or two. 
What it ultimately does for us as an organization is facilitate resident empowerment. Residents can connect to each other, find projects, and raise the resources needed, to achieve their goals and pull together as a community to build what they need. As a result we’re able to reach for projects that are larger in scope like pulling off 10 community garden builds in one day.

It’s free to start your guerrilla garden—or any other project—on thrdPlace—just check out our video tutorial to get going. Start a project, and help us achieve our mission to create local movements of citizens working together to improve our shared communities, and transform that open lot in your neighborhood into a thriving garden that everyone can enjoy. Got questions? We’re here to help. Feel free to drop me a line. ( We would love to hear about your project and provide whatever support we can to make it happen.

Woody Moore is the vice president of marketing at thrdPlace. This article originally appeared at Good.Is


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Anonymous said...

...and another "terrorist" organization springs into being...

Hide Behind said...

Far from a Terrorist org this is just plain old communitarianism within"approved System"where ever you see or hear of a social justice anything org head that way.
For those with liberal arts majors they are perfect places to networkfor full or partial employmentopportunitys or even grant possabilities

Not putting them down. But they are very much an integral part of legal and social structuring that you see and hear of from todays poltical leadetship.
First thing that comes too mind is non profit which means administrators of off the wall projects they or others can think up will be worthy of shekels in pockets and quite possibly an inteoduction to someone who can aid you find employ doing little until you finish schooling or a full time positionwith public, public/private or NGO or tax free charity scams.
THEY do a lot of touchy feely stuff that minorities and feminen race gender etc people love and some inner city stuff that last no time but mainly it is away to keep no ptofessional people available gor non professional jobs.
Univercitys and gov orgs love justice centers because it gives their kida a place to work.

Anonymous said...

Really interesting, thanks!

Given your interest, I think that you (and the other readers here) would be really interested in some recent research that I have come across that theorizes about crowds and such similar phenomena.

It’s called “The Theory of Crowd Capital” and you can download it here if you’re interested:

In my view it provides a powerful, yet simple model, getting to the heart of the matter. Enjoy!

Christine Hoeflich said...

Wow! Great idea for putting together urban gardens. Thanks!

homes to build said...

Thanks for the share.

Anonymous said...

I guess you are condoning just going in and altering someone else's private property? I certainly hope that you are getting the permission of the landowners before going in and tearing things up planting a garden.

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