A community resource for citizens
The Black Meadow Community Park – at the site of the former market near Ostrava’s exhibition centre – has recently been re-opened. This is one of the projects that the City of Ostrava has funded via its public space subsidy programme. The park includes a community garden where around thirty people grow vegetables, herbs and flowers, as well as a public part offering a relaxing haven in the heart of the city centre.
Community gardens have become a phenomenal global success in recent years. Many such projects throughout the world have been inspired by pioneering cities such as New York and Berlin, which have a much longer tradition of community gardens. The basic idea of community gardening is to take unused land in cities and to use it for growing vegetables and other plants. This active, constructive approach to urban space also has the advantage of strengthening communities by providing a space where neighbours can meet and interact. For city-dwellers who lack a garden of their own, this type of shared community resource is a great way of growing healthy produce; it also brings people closer to nature and puts them in touch with the values of previous generations.
Digging back into history
A small community garden at Ostrava’s Black Meadow (Černá Louka) was opened in June 2015. Lasting two years, it was a seasonal project, which closed down in the autumn and then re-opened in the spring of the next year. Now, thanks to the City’s subsidy programme, a much larger and more ambitious project has been planned – the Black Meadow Community Park.
How does it work?
The Black Meadow Community Park is located next to the former Černá Louka market site (near Ostrava’s exhibition centre). It consists of a community garden (open only to members) and a public part (open to everybody). The community garden has 60 raised vegetable/flower beds, which people can hire for 600 CZK per season. Each community member has year-round access to the garden. Besides the vegetable beds there is also a herb spiral, fruit trees, a flower meadow, and an insect hotel. The organizers are planning to hold seminars and talks at the garden, exploring a range of topics connected with gardening and ecological issues.
The Black Meadow Community Park was created thanks to an initiative by the Cooltour cultural centre.
Photo source: Ostrava City Authority Archive