Live Oak Community Garden founded in 1993
About us: In the 1980's Don Lambert began a quest to make community gardens a success in the Dallas area. A number of new gardens started, and Lambert as a volunteer, and for a couple of years as coordinator of a project with the Texas Discovery Garden (then called the Dallas Civic Garden Center), actively worked with many of these projects.
Some Early Dallas Community Gardens:
El Paraiso Community Garden with the Trinity River Mission 1989
Marcus Annex seniors garden at the Marcus Recreation Center 1990
Pleasant Grove garden with Southeast Dallas Emergency Food Center 1991
Gladewater garden at Gladewater Road Missionary Baptist Church 1992
Chez Harbor Clubhouse garden at a MHMR center 1990
East Dallas Community and Market Garden with ED Garden Coalition 1987
East Dallas Community School garden at ED Community School 1991
Live Oak Community Garden with Communities Foundation of Texas 1992
Outdoor Learning Center, Stringfellow School in Coppell 1991
Representatives from several early gardens met together in 1994 and formed Gardeners in Community Development (GICD) as a nonprofit organization with a mission to further facilitate community gardening.
Most preeminent gardens in Dallas had little longevity due to changes in neighborhoods and group interests, lack of city support, and land being taken for development. The new GICD struggled and managed to help organize and build the Hope and Peace gardens both in East Dallas, Our Saviour in Pleasant Grove, and assist with starting school gardens at Kramer Elementary and Greenhill School.
GICD continues to work with the oldest community gardens in Dallas: the 30 and 26 year old East Dallas and Live Oak gardens respectively, and Our Saviour and Hope community gardens are doing well at 15 years. In the last five years, GICD's example together with workshops and classes, and a sudden popularity of gardens at schools, churches, and in neighborhoods, and urban agriculture in general, has lead to dozens of independent projects across the region.
Today, GICD trains and assists refugees and low income families to use organic methods to grow for their families, and to produce a sufficient amount to donate to neighbors in need and for selling to cover their garden expenses.