Community gardens dot the landscape of Birmingham and its surrounding areas. In addition to welcome patches of green, they also bring healthy food, community, education, habitat for pollinators and joy.
While there are many more community gardens in Birmingham, we decided to focus on ten.
BEE: Birmingham Eastside Eco-Gardens—Roebuck
The first thing you see when you pull around to the back of the Eastern Health Clinic over by the Roebuck Municipal Golf Course is this colorful mosaic sun. Somebody clearly had a lot of fun making it.
After the mosaic, we walked through this archway and down a gravel path, uncertain about what we would find.
We were amazed when we emerged into a lush open area with garden plots and walkways.
Right about the time I spotted the wildlife habitat, the kids ran off to chase a bunny. This place really is a haven for wildlife, pollinators and humans.
After we walked past blueberry bushes, figs, rain barrels, an orchard, and a compost pile, we found a hillside herb garden.
This lovely community garden is truly a labor of love, and a gift to anyone who comes to visit the Eastern Health Center who wants to get a taste of healthy living.
We even found a chalkboard sign in a shed with info on how to get involved:
They’re on Instagram, too, @beecommunity.
East Lake Community Garden—South East Lake
Not far from the Birmingham Eastside Eco-Garden is the Eastlake Community Garden. It’s housed at East Lake United Methodist Church, home of the East Lake Market.
It’s also just down the street from Village Market (now owned by the same folks who brought Harvest Market to downtown).
In this garden, like every garden, there are treasures if you know where to look.
If you look carefully, you’ll see a bee inside the squash flower.
Downtown, at Jones Valley Teaching Farm, a whole corner of the place is devoted to community gardens.
Members lease one of 38 raised beds for a year on a sliding scale.
The folks who run this garden are working to create something tasty and beautiful on an acre of previously abandoned land in Fountain Heights.
Tuxedo Community Garden—Ensley
There are a few community gardens in Ensley, including this one on the grounds of Holy Family Catholic Church. Find them at Avenue T and 19th Street in Ensley.
In the neighborhood of Bush Hills, over behind Legion Field, is another amazing garden.
Grace House Community Garden—Fairfield
The garden is supported through a partnership with Mountain Brook Community Church.
The garden’s located at 4911 Farrell Ave, Fairfield, AL. Call (205)786-4663 to find out more.
Jonesoboro Community Garden—Bessemer
You can find this one at Owen Ave at Wellington St., Bessemer, Alabama 35020 or on Facebook.
Greater Shiloh Community Garden—Jones Valley
Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church has a big community garden, and the kids have a lot of fun in it!
Find this one at 2135 Jefferson Ave SW, Birmingham, AL 35211 or give them a call at (205) 925-5972.
WE Garden—West End
For the final garden, we had a nice lunch at Urban Ministry, Inc.‘s WE Cafe, followed by a tour of WE Garden by garden manager Myron Pierre.
Mr. Pierre is a man with a passion for cultivating healthy soil, bringing new life to once heavily polluted parts of the city. He’s also a born educator who delights in sharing his love for the garden.
Find WE Garden at the corner of 12th St SW and McMillon Ave SW or follow them on Facebook.
Now we want to hear from you, Birmingham. Tell us about your favorite community gardens. Where are they? Are you a member? What’s the best thing about being involved? Tag us on social media with your responses.