Situated on the edge of Rocky Ripples’ Hohlt Park is Burkhart Community Garden, named after the original market grower and Rocky Ripple resident who developed the space, Rick Burkhart (1953-2001). The Garden was established in 2001 as a collaboration between the Rocky Ripple 4H Club, Rocky Ripple Community Association, and the Town of Rocky Ripple. As one of Indianapolis’ longer-running community gardens, it provides a space for
residents to grow food and flowers. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and the Butler University Center for Urban Ecology have provided in-kind support to the Garden. Residents have donated everything in and around the Garden, including the shed (construction and painting) and perennials. The Garden includes a small shared orchard and blueberry patch. A cold house is being constructed to extend the growing season.
The Garden is funded by participant donations (the Garden’s only source of income). Participants agree to contribute to the maintenance of the common areas, including the fence line. Additionally, the gardeners give back to the community by hosting an annual garden party, organizing workshops, sharing produce with neighbors, and donating food to pantries as part of the Plant a Row for the Hungry program.
Studies have long shown the benefits of community gardens. They include:
- Improves the quality of life for people in the garden
- Provides a catalyst for neighborhood and community development
- Stimulates Social Interaction
- Encourages Self-Reliance
- Beautifies Neighborhoods
- Produces Nutritious Food
- Reduces Family Food Budgets
- Conserves Resources
- Creates opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education
- Reduces Crime
- Preserves Green Space
- Creates income opportunities and economic development
- Reduces city heat from streets and parking lots
- Provides opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections
Source: American Community Gardening Association.
Rocky Ripple is proud to be home to Burkhart Community Garden. To participate in the Community Garden, contact Nancy, 255-7628, or Vandy 259-8297.