The Rodney Reservoir Community Garden is the largest community garden in the City of Wilmington, with more than 6,100 square feet of growing space. Every year, it produces hundreds of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables enjoyed by gardeners and shared among neighbors and friends. Perhaps most importantly, the Rodney Reservoir Community Garden has become a place where neighbors can meet and get to know each other while doing something they love.
For an overview of urban agriculture initiatives in Wilmington’s West Side, click here.
In October, 2010, a group of residents the from Little Italy, Cool Spring/Tilton, and Hill Top neighborhoods came together to talk about creating a community garden.
Over the next eight months, with lots of support from Delaware Public Allies and the Delaware Department of Agriculture, the residents worked with the City of Wilmington to establish the Rodney Reservoir Community Garden on vacant land owned by the Department of PUblic Works at the corner of 10th and Clayton.
In the spring of 2011, youth from the Challenge Program framed the beds and the Peninsula Compost Company donated composted soil. On Wilmington Community Project Day in May 2011, 100 volunteers formed a bucket brigade to carry over 80 cubic yards of soil to the top of the reservoir and create 22 new garden beds.
In the second year, the garden added 13 beds. Gardeners once again came together for a bucket brigade to carry fertile composted soil from Peninsula Compost up to the garden.
In 2013, the Rodney Reservoir Community Garden partnered up with Bright Spot Ventures, a social enterprise created by West End Neighborhood House to provide job training and entrepreneurial experience to youth aging out of foster care. Together, they added 24 new beds, including 8 for residents and 16 for Bright Spot Ventures youth to grow vegetables to sell at Cool Spring Farmers Market.
In 2016, Bright Spot Ventures consolidated all its growing at another location. Today, 61 plots are gardened by community members who grow vegetables and flowers for their family and friends.
Interested in getting involved or signing up for a plot? Contact us!: westsidegrows (at) gmail.com