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Community Gardening: Creating a Greener, Eco-Friendly, Biodiverse Paris

Community Gardens in Paris: Fresh, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables and Neighborhood Parties

Emily Dilling

Though you might not expect it, Paris – with its boulevards lined with grey Hausmann-style buildings and its meticulously cultivated and pruned city gardens – is home to over 150 independent community gardens. From transformed abandoned lots to reclaimed city property, these urban gardens of all sizes can be found throughout Paris, welcoming wildlife and creating biodiversity within the city.

Community Gardens in Paris: Fresh, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables and Neighborhood Parties

Isabel Miller-Bottome

Community Gardens in Paris: Fresh, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables and Neighborhood Parties

Emily Dilling

A city-wide charter, called La Charte Main Verte, binds participating gardens to certain regulations in order to maintain their status as an official jardin partagé. Thanks to this charter, member gardens are required to be open to the public at least twice a week. The agreement also obliges gardens to host community events as well as practice sustainable, ecological gardening methods. Which means the gardens have a positive impact on local ecology and liven up their neighborhoods with both plants and parties!

Community Gardens in Paris: Fresh, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables and Neighborhood Parties

Emily Dilling

A list of community gardens in Paris is available on the city’s website, where you will find links to the various green spaces and information on when they are open to the public. Since 2003, when Paris first introduced the Main Vert charter, the network of community gardens in and around the city has steadily grown, inspiring other projects to bring more green to the city. A great example of this is the slow conversion of the petite ceinture (the abandoned commuter railway tracks that circle Paris) into walking trails that allow urbanites to discover the native flora and fauna surrounding their city.

Community Gardens in Paris: Fresh, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables and Neighborhood Parties

Emily Dilling

One of the first inhabitants of petite ceinture was Les Jardins du Ruisseau, one of the city’s oldest community gardens and a personal favorite of mine. The garden is located on the former platforms of the railroad tracks, in between two newly renewed train stations (one has been converted into café/community space La REcyclerie and the other, Gare St Ouen, will open in autumn 2015 as Le Hasard Ludique, a bar and concert venue).

Community Gardens in Paris: Fresh, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables and Neighborhood Parties

Emily Dilling

Over the years, Les Jardins du Ruisseau have evolved from a series of raised-bed garden plots to become a fully functioning urban farm, complete with seasonal fruits and vegetables, honey bees, chickens, and even their own resident hedgehog that doubles as a mascot!

Community Gardens in Paris: Fresh, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables and Neighborhood Parties

Isabel Miller-Bottome

Gardens like Les Jardins du Ruisseau prove how important it is to nurture wild, green spaces in cities and bring the city’s residents into direct contact with nature. Garden plots reserved for school groups and daycare centers provide children with the opportunity to get their hands dirty and watch things grow, while plots set aside for neighborhood residents allow adults to partake in the exciting experience of growing some of their own food and belonging to a community.

Community Gardens in Paris: Fresh, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables and Neighborhood Parties

Isabel Miller-Bottome

These gardens are on the forefront of many innovative developments within the city. They inspire new, ecological city initiatives; provide a space to plant, recycle, and compost; and they create a space for people to come together in the spirit of nature and neighborhood, two things that are cherished and vital to those living in a big city.

Community Gardens in Paris: Fresh, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables and Neighborhood Parties

Emily Dilling

If you are interested in doing more than just visiting the gardens and would like to volunteer or share a garden plot, visit the Jardinons Ensemble website, where you can find out all about your nearest community garden!

Community Gardens in Paris: Fresh, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables and Neighborhood Parties

Isabel Miller-Bottome

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Written by Emily Dilling for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

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Written by Emily Dilling

Emily DillingEmily Dilling is a Paris-based American. She is the founder of the blog Paris Paysanne, which documents her quest to find local farmers and seasonal produce at Paris markets. Emily’s writing has also appeared in publications such as The Huffington Post (US & French editions), Ecosalon, The Portland Mercury, and Local Spotter.

Website: Paris Paysanne

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