About the Garden
Founded in 2010, the Benson Community Garden provides space for individuals and families to grow fruits and vegetables for their personal consumption.
The garden is located on privately owned property at the corner of 60th & Lafayette Streets in Omaha’s historic Benson neighborhood.
We also feature the “Earth Stage” for live performances and educational offerings.
HOURS: Sunrise to Sunset daily
“…to strengthen our community by providing an urban agricultural space where individuals and families can come together to grow farm-fresh foods, share tools and resources, and learn about gardening and nutrition.”
A Growing Purpose
OMAHA WORLD-HERALD | SATURDAY, JULY 23, 2011
Every year, the Douglas County Health Department asks community gardeners, “What is the purpose of your garden?” The most frequent answer is to meet the neighbors and, together, to build a sense of community, said Mary Balluff. She’s division chief of community health and nutrition services, which conducts the survey for its parent, the health department.
The chance to build community also is a top reason given during interviews with people who were instrumental in establishing a neighborhood garden.
“I think it’s the neighborhood and community aspect of people and families” that makes the 10-year-old Gifford Park Garden successful, said Chris Foster. It’s an outdoor community center, he said.
Foster and his wife, Sallie, own the land that’s home to the garden at 35th and Cass Streets. When people live close to the garden, “it adds to the success,” Foster said. “It’s their garden — the community garden.”
Kurt Goetzinger lives next to and owns the land where the new-this-year Benson Community Garden sits at 60th Street and Lafayette Avenue.
“I’m investing in the community by doing this,” he said. The garden has introduced him to 100 more people in Benson, he said, and he has noticed friendships forming among gardeners. READ MORE >
- ORGANIZATION: The Benson Community Garden is a nonprofit organization, incorporated by the State of Nebraska.
- PLOTS: There are 36 gardener plots, divided into four rows (A, B, C & D). Half of the plots are 4’ x 8’ and the other half are 4’ x 12’.
- PLOT COSTS: The 4’ x 8’ plots cost $35/year and the 4’ x 12’ plots cost $45/year.
- WATER: The 250 gallon tank at the west side of the garden is filled by rainwater collected off the roof of the homeowner’s house. When the tank runs empty, the homeowner fills the tank with water from his home.
- TREES: The trees along the northers section of the lot include apple, yellow delicious apple, cherry, plum & pear. Fruit from the trees is shared between the members of the garden.
- BERRIES: There is a strawberry patch, 5 blueberry bushes, 2 raspberry bushes, 1 blackberry bush, 1 service berry bush, and 1 acai berry bush. Fruit is shared among the members of the garden.
- EARTH STAGE: To accommodate live music and other entertainment, the garden built an “Earth Stage” in the southwest corner of the lot. City ordinances do not allow for a wooden or other structure to be built on a property without a home. Landscaping the stage was perfectly fine.
- SHED: Inside the shed, gardeners can find nearly any/every tool they could possibly need to start and maintain their plots. The shed was custom built, with the roof at 30 degrees facing South, the optimum angle for collecting sunshine. Atop the shed are three solar panels, which give the gardeners the ability to charge their phones, listen to music, have lights, etc.
- PROPERTY OWNER: Kurt Goetzinger, the person who lives in the green house adjacent to the garden, purchased the land in 2010.
- COLOR: The green paint color of the shed, signage, etc. is “Rural Green” by Sherwin Williams”