I’m a huge believer in how gardening can make life better for many people, especially for those who don’t have such easy access to wilder landscapes. This is why it warms my heart so much to see that more and more people in American cities are growing their own little bits of nature. Rooftop and window gardening are part of this, and are taking off for a variety of reasons. Roofscaping or "Green Roofs" are also becoming a real part of the cityscape in many places, which is great for residents, the infrastructure, and the environment.
Even more encouraging, though, is how community gardens are popping up all over the place. Some of these are simply vegetable gardens that residents put in on vacant lots that would otherwise be going to waste. Many are established by the city. Some of the most successful, though, come from philanthropists. Nonprofits such as Urban Farming have found that getting the community to band together to grow things helps out in many ways, both expected and not. Many of these gardens are unfenced and encourage locals to simply come and take what they need. They have found that greed really hasn’t been a problem, and it helps families to eat a much healthier diet in areas where affordable fresh produce is scarce. It brings the community together and beautifies their surroundings. It gives businesses more opportunity to reach out to the community, which many are taking great advantage of. In Detroit, where Urban Farming started, they have found that crime is dropping in neighborhoods that have these gardens. It is extremely encouraging to see how, by working together with nature, we can really make a difference in the world around us.