The final seminar in the Oakland County Sustainable Communities series was held Tuesday, October 12, 2010, in Waterford, Michigan with a topic centered on local food resources and community gardens.
The session began with networking and a fall-themed breakfast provided by Ashton Orchards. Doug Smith, deputy county executive for Oakland County, kicked off the panel discussions with a greeting, which was followed by four presentations by representatives from different community gardens in metro Detroit. The day’s events wrapped up with a tour of the Oakland County Historical Orchard, Farmer’s Market and Ernst Greenhouses.
Summary of the panel discussions:
- Alexis Bogdanova-Hanna, Garden Coordinator for Michigan Young Farmer’s Coalition (MYFC), a statewide non-for-profit organization working to empower Michigan communities through viable agricultural stewardship, was present to share about her organization and one of its current projects. The goal of MYFC’s Help Against Violent Encounters Now (HAVEN) Garden Project is to create a safe and beautiful refuge for HAVEN residents and staff.
- Trevor Johnson, who is the garden coordinator for the Royal Oak Community Garden, led a discussion in which he shared some of his ideas about perennial-based agriculture. He noted that agriculture based on perennials has many benefits, especially compared with how difficult it is to keep up annual gardens.
- Oakland University Professor and Garden Coordinator Fay Hansen had a number of things to say about the college’s campus garden. She shared some background as well as challenges she has faced, issues she has come across and the vision she sees for the future of the garden.
- Jon Noyes and Susanna Ditter of Oakland County Parks and Recreation presented information about the Recreational Horticulture Program at Ernst Gardens, which includes the Greenhouse Hub, the County Market, satellite greenhouses and recreational programs and special events.
For more information about Oakland County’s green initiatives, please visit: https://www.greeningdetroit.com/government/oakland-county-planning-economic-development/ and https://www.greeningdetroit.com/government/oakland-county-parks-and-recreation/
Author: Jennifer Griffin