Podcast: Kate Gilliam talking about Guerilla Gardening
I see cityscapes as potential urban growing sites and opportunities to connect people with their environments again. Too often we trade in our connections to nature for an urban existence, but the need to engage on a basic level with our hands in the dirt is still present and so important to nourish. Furthermore, directly engaging in our environment gives us a sense of purpose and confidence that we have the right and the responsibility to positively change our situations.
Why shouldn’t we make community gardens where there is nothing but asphalt, and repurpose public space for community projects? Each person has a skill set and a perspective, and by demonstrating an ‘I can do it’ ethos, we can show others how they too can take the initiative and improve their physical environments for themselves, their neighbours, their kids and the city at large.
I have been improving neighborhoods with guerrilla & community gardening since 2004. I started Trees Not Trash, a non-profit organization in Brooklyn, NY and focused on getting street trees planted and community gardens built for underserved neighbourhoods. Since its inception, Trees Not Trash has had over 2500 street trees planted and has built and maintained 3 community gardens, 4 community green spaces and developed the public outdoor space for the Bushwick Public Library in Brooklyn, NY. Trees Not Trash has since broadened its reach to include Edinburgh, and we are working with Summerhall, Ragged University, Green Roof initiatives, and the Forest Cafe to increase the amount of usable growing space for the people of Edinburgh.
Here is Kate talking about all the work she has done: