Westview Community Garden

Neighbors Rally to Save Community Garden

The idea of the Westview Community Garden first came to fruition in December 2009 when neighbors were presented with an opportunity to turn a wide vacant lot on South Gordon Street into a community garden. After the Westview Community Organization signed a 3-year lease with the owner plans were started for the 2010 growing season.

The original concept of the garden was for community members to purchase a plot for the year, allowing each plot owner to be in charge of their own area and what was grown. A separate area was designated for shared land so that crops that would perform better in groups, such as corn, could be grown for everyone. The participating gardeners held work days to till the land and build raised beds, and additional work days were held throughout the year to work on keeping the common areas clean.

Over time an emphasis was placed on needing to work with neighborhood youth to teach them where food comes from, how to garden, and providing a sense of pride for their accomplishments when vegetables and fruits were ready to be harvested. In turn the garden took a shift from the individual plot concept to a shared community garden concept where everyone would work in the garden and could enjoy the crops.

The gardeners additionally worked to receive grants to build a garden shed and a chicken coop (it should be noted the plans never materialized to the point of chickens being at the garden), hosted various volunteer groups for garden maintenance, a rain barrel workshop, and were featured in the BeltLine newsletter and as a stop on bicycles tours of Atlanta-area gardens.

While the community garden continued to function, a series of unfortunate background events occurred that would lead to the sudden and surprising end of the garden in March 2015. The owner with whom the community had signed the lease passed away in 2012. After the lease expired at the end of 2013 the community unsuccessfully attempted to contact the heir to renew the lease, and hence the community continued to garden on the land as “tenants at sufferance” (i.e. continuing to occupy the space with an expired lease but without being asked to leave by the owner). Unbeknownst to the gardeners the property fell into foreclosure in April 2014 and was taken over by Capitol City Bank. Capitol City Bank would collapse in February 2015, leaving the FDIC to take over the bank’s assets, including the Westview Community Garden. Community members became aware of the situation when a “No Trespassing” signed appeared in the garden at the beginning of March, followed by a bulldozer at the end of March.

Thanks to the swift action of alert neighbors, members were able to rally and jump into action and salvage the majority of the garden shed. A vote was taken at the April Westview Community Organization meeting to raise the funds for the community to officially acquire the land. The community is currently in negotiations with the FDIC to buy the land. If successful, a fundraiser will be held to raise the money to pay for the land, officially making the garden a community owned asset.

We hope our next article about the garden will be a positive one with a happy ending. In the meanwhile you can read the thorough Creative Loafing article, “Westview Community Garden demolished, but not the neighborhood’s dreams,” as well as take a trip down memory lane with pictures of the garden from our archive:

Kids Stop by Community Garden

Kids Stop by Community Garden

The neighborhood “garden babies” came to visit the community garden and check on and harvest the vegetables that they helped plant. It is a beautiful sight to see how much our children remember what we teach them!

To see photos of the children at the garden view the photo gallery below or visit the Westview Facebook page.

Park Pride Community Garden Tour

Park Pride Community Garden Tour Photos

On a hot summer day the Park Pride sponsored Community Garden Tour stopped by the Westview Community Garden on South Gordon Street to check out how Westview’s garden is set up. During the whirlwind half hour visit members of the community explained the history of the garden, and that the communal garden was started from seeds in thanks to a grant from Seed Savers Exchange. Before taking off tour members and community members were treated to King of Pop popsicles.

To view photos of the Park Pride Community Garden Tour view the photo gallery below (click “continue reading”) or visit the Westview Facebook page.

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Park Pride’s 2014 Community Garden Tour

Garden PlantingJoin Park Pride to get inspired by what’s growing in Atlanta and to network with local garden enthusiasts! Whether you are an experienced or novice gardener or interested to learn more about community gardens in Atlanta, this tour will provide plenty of insight and inspiration.

The tour will start and end at Elliott Street Deli & Pub (51 Elliott St SW, Atlanta, GA 30313). You can choose to travel by bus ($25) or by bicycle ($10) to visit four inspiring community gardens in Southwest Atlanta. Members of each garden will be on site to provide an overview of their garden and to answer your questions. The tour will end at the opening reception of the Atlanta Cycling Festival, an amazing weeklong bike program. Come fall in love with our growing community, cycling and our city.


2:00 PM – Elliot Street Pub: Registration (51 Elliott St SW, Atlanta, GA 30313)
2:15 PM – Elliot Street Pub – Bike safety overview
2:20 PM – Ride out
2:35 PM – Arrive at the Metropolitan Lofts to visit 5th Kingdom Mushroom Farm
3:05 PM – Leave
3:15 PM – Arrive at the Good Shepard Agro Center (on Lawton Street)
3:45 PM – Leave
4:05 PM – Arrive at the Outdoor Activity Center (On Bridges)
4:45 PM – Leave
5:00 PM – Arrive Westview Garden (On S. Gordon)
5:30 PM – Leave to return to Elliot Street Pub
6:oo PM – Atlanta Cycling Festival Reception


Garden Planting

Garden Planting & Shed Construction

On Saturday, May 10th, community members came back together to continue work at the Westview Community Garden. Additional beds were prepared, kids received instructions on how to put plants in the ground, and construction-oriented neighbors continued work on the shed by adding a gutter to collect rain water. Also notice the still-in-progress artwork on the shed wall!

To view photos of the garden work day day view the photo gallery below (click “continue reading”) or visit the Westview Facebook page.

Westview Community Garden Spring Planting

Community Garden Spring Planting Photos

After a cold and long winter the night time temperatures have finally become mild enough to plant the seedlings in the community garden. And so young and old joined together to mow, till ground beds, and to start planting the first tomatoes, okra, bush beans, and peppers in the raised beds. The work is not done, but we’re excited to finally have the first set of plants in the ground!

To view photos of the planting day view the photo gallery below (click “continue reading”) or visit the Westview Facebook page.

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Westview Featured in AJC

Westview neighbors Scott and Mark had the honor of being featured in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s “Private Quarters” section. Photographer Sean Drakes visited them for 4 hours to create the “A private oasis” photo article. Read the article about this Westview couple’s home and garden.