Cummins Inc. received approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals on April 26 to begin building a community garden near the downtown Columbus Engine Plant. That’s good news.
The company plans to build four 75-square-foot raised garden beds and a composting unit on a .28-acre parcel at Seventh and Maple streets as part of a Cummins Environmental Challenge project.
What’s notable is that the community garden will provide educational and neighborhood benefits by teaching students and residents successful gardening methods. Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, onions and carrots are being considered for planting — good staple foods.
Cummins is considering a project with Columbus Signature Academy — Lincoln Campus students that would teach them the complete cycle of planting, growing, cultivating, harvesting, cooking and eating. That would be a valuable, hands-on learning experience.
After the food is harvested, some of it could go neighborhood residents, particularly if they help in the project. That’s a good way to strengthen community ties and offer an opportunity to residents who may need help in securing food for their family.
The fact that community gardens are on the rise in cities and towns across the United States shouldn’t be a surprise. The concept brings people together to work on a common, beneficial goal, and improves the quality of life in a community.
Cummins’ community garden project is a welcome addition to Columbus.