Many of you know that we live in an older neighborhood in downtown Provo. There are tree lined streets, unique old homes, and some of our neighbors have stories of the many changes they have seen in their 94 years of living in the same neighborhood, including driving cattle down 5th West. I love the deep lots, the giant old homes built on the corners, and being close to so many art galleries and shops.
Unfortunately, older neighborhoods are the first to become slums. There are older people who are unable to take care of their homes and yards, and when they pass away their children usually sell to an out of state landlord, who ends up either turning the home into a series of small, cramped apartments, or using it as subsidized housing, and they rarely do a background check.
Needless to say, these neglected properties are rented to individuals who do not invest in their communities and the houses are left in shambles.
So, when I found Richard Reynold's blog, Guerrilla Gardening, I was filled with inspiration for helping my own community. Richard basically just started planting flowers in neglected public spaces in London. His research on "illicit cultivation" and apathy toward public space inspired his book, On Guerrilla Gardening, A Handbook For Gardening Without Boundaries. His motto is, "Let's fight filth with forks and flowers!" And I honestly can't think of a better or happier way to give back to your community. Think of how fulfilling it is cultivate your own space, imagine how great it would be to make a lasting difference in a public space that you pass everyday!