After many months of planning, ground was broken to begin the construction of the Freedom Garden on Friday, August 7, 2009. The Northside Collaboratory intends to photodocument the construction progress. Please check back regularly to see the transformation of the site into a community gathering space.
The Northside of Syracuse has long been a site for the convergence of immigrants and refugees hailing from a diverse array of many nations and cultures.
Yet despite the uniquely abundant resources in this neighborhood, it lacks a common gathering place. There are few parks or private corners to sit and talk with friends, and few playgrounds or shady places to picnic or read a book on a hot summer’s day.
Where once stood dilapidated houses, there now rests a garden celebrating the diverse and rich heritage and culture of the community, fully planned with active community member participation. The Freedom Garden stands to be a community owned space, whose existence and meaning will reach far into the future. Its impacts are obvious, and even though there are still finishing touches to come, it has proven to be a powerful impetus for community-wide dialogue, engagement and collaboration.
The Freedom Garden contains an arced patio encircled by trees, bushes, and flowers; on one side rests a refurbished retaining wall, which currently displays the Freedom Garden logo and a dedication to Friar Phil Kelly and Fernando Ortiz. The garden already hosts the Farm Fresh Mobile Market on Thursday afternoons from 1pm to 3pm. In the future, the garden will be further utilized for community events, dinners, cultural celebrations, as well as a clean and beautiful place to stop and sit for a while.
Future potential plantings have been chosen to adapt and flourish in Syracuse’s difficult growing conditions, and may include shamrock inkberry, green luster holly, snowmound spirea, gold mound or gold flame spirea, miss kim lilac. As documented in the slide show above, the initial plantings included bulbs and perennials planted by community residents.
If you would like to get involved please call Jonathan Logan at 315-473-0952 or e-mail
. A full-color brochure for the project is available here