This Spring SCLT is opening a new PCGN Hub in Providence’s Eastside neighborhood! The Eastside Hub will be located at Sessions Street Community Garden and managed by Hub Leader Kate Lacouture. Kate is a landscape architect whose favorite work is with community-based gardening projects, such as the school gardens at the International Charter School and Martin Luther King School, and the gardening program at the Adult Correctional Institute, where she has been teaching gardening at the men’s maximum security facility with a group of lifers. We had the opportunity to ask Kate some questions about the new Eastside Hub and what it has in store for the community gardeners, home gardeners and school gardens in that neighborhood.
What is the background of Sessions Street Community Garden?
Kate: Sessions Street Community Garden (SSCG) was started in 2007 by a small group of gardeners, led by Alicia Lehrer and Laura Mernoff. It quickly grew beyond this with the support of Bob McMahon of the Parks Department and Councilperson Rita Williams. The garden got such a great response in the neighborhood that the Parks Department helped us expand the following year.
What is the community that the garden serves like?
Kate: We presently have 30 gardeners/gardening families and maintain a waiting list of 40 people. We also donate a plot to the Jewish Community Center, which is used primarily by the youth after-school program, led by Shannon Boucher. During the summer, they have a week-long summer camp that focuses on eating healthy food, and they cook meals from their plot’s harvest.
We also donate another plot to Temple Beth-El for their food pantry mitzvah program. Additionally, they will be gleaning other SSCG gardeners’ surplus vegetables and donating it to the local food pantry at St. Michaels.
Why is SSCG a good site for the Eastside Hub?
Kate: SSCG is in a central, visible accessible location on the Eastside, and we are an enthusiastic gardening community. We have connections to Community Partners, including the Jewish Community Center and Nathan Bishop Middle School.
We also have a successful composting program, which is not typical for community gardens, and we look forward to hosting composting workshops.
Thanks, Kate, for providing us with more details on the Eastside Hub! Meet Kate and other food-growers in the Eastside neighborhood at Hub Day on April 6th.