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News Release

Celebrate Spring and and Earth Day by Planning and Planting a People's Garden


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                               CONTACT:  Kanseese Xiong
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Landscape Architect




USDA Service Center People's Garden WARWICK, RI (April 19, 2012) Earth Day is April 22. One way you can get involved is by planting a People�s Garden. The People's Garden Initiative is an effort by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies including the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). When Abraham Lincoln founded USDA in 1862, he referred to it as The People�s Department. Lincoln said �the most valuable of all arts will be the art of deriving a comfortable subsistence from the smallest area of soil.� It�s a description that is as true today as it was then.

People�s Gardens may be vegetable, rain, native plant, or pollinator gardens. People's Gardens vary in size and type, but all have a common purpose�to help the community they are within and the environment. Fresh fruits and vegetables may be grown for those in need. Trees, shrubs, and flowers may be planted to improve soil, water and air health; attract wildlife; or beautify the neighborhood.

(Click on picture to view in greater detail.)

A People's Garden includes the following three components:

1. Benefits Your Community
Gardens benefit communities in many different ways. Consider creating spaces for leisure or recreation that the public can use, donating the harvest to a local food bank or shelter, designing a wildlife friendly landscape, or installing a rain garden to absorb storm water run-off and protect the soil from erosion.

2. Is Collaborative
The garden must be a collaborative effort between other volunteers, neighbors or organizations within your community. Consider forming local partnerships to carry out the mission of a People's Garden.

3. Incorporates Sustainable Practices
Include gardening practices that nurture, maintain, and protect the environment such as:

Capturing rainwater in rain barrels

Composting and mulching

Planting native species

Encouraging beneficial insects that feed on destructive pests

Want to participate and be involved? Consider creating gardens in vacant lots, schools, community agencies, houses of worship, or on rooftops and become part the People's Garden movement. Reach out to USDA employees in your community for their help and expertise or ask them to lend a hand in planting, harvesting, or maintaining a People's Garden. The possibilities are limitless.

For more information, contact Kanseese Xiong, Landscape Architect at (401) 822-8846 or additional article on the People�s Garden initiative in Rhode Island is also available on the Rhode Island NRCS Web site at:

For more information on practical gardening advice to improve your health and the health of your garden, go to


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