The Dundee Community Garden is located at 4902 Underwood Avenue,
in the heart of the Dundee neighborhood of Omaha, NE.
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To provide space for neighbors to grow and share local produce, to provide educational workshops on gardening-related topics to neighbors and the public, and to donate fresh produce to organizations and underserved individuals in the community.
History: The Dundee Community Garden was founded in May 2009. A group of people from the Dundee neighborhood of Omaha, NE, had been meeting for three months, trying to find a location for a community garden in the Dundee area, when Chip James of Lockwood development agreed to let us set up a garden on the empty lot he owned at 4902 Underwood Ave. After securing liability insurance, we broke ground May 5, 2009.
DCG became an official NE Non-Profit Corporation in 2012, and we were recognized as a federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization in 2013. After a successful fund-raising drive in 2013, and with significant donations from the Sherwood Foundation and the Peter Kiewit Foundation, we purchased the property in May 2013, making the DCG a permanent part of the Dundee neighborhood.
Membership: The garden was designed to have 4’x10’ plots. Forty-one of these plots are considered individual plots, with individuals, couples, friends, or families paying an annual membership fee for use of the plot. The membership fee helps cover our operating costs.
Donations: Since the beginning, four of the 4’ x 10’ plots have been designated “food pantry” plots, with the produce from these plots going to a local food pantry in 2009 and 2010, and going right across the street to the residents of the Omaha Housing Authority’s Underwood Tower since 2011. We have donated over 3000 pounds of food since our founding in 2009!
Sweet Potatoes: We grow bumper crops of sweet potatoes each year in the “parking area” between the sidewalk and the street along 49th St., and we donate several hundred pounds of sweet potatoes each year. In both 2013 and 2014, we grew over 1,000 pounds of sweet potatoes, which we distributed to our garden members, to residents of the Underwood Tower apartment building, and to others in our community, who have included a refugee community center, neighborhood restaurants, and local firefighters.
Neighbor Garden: In 2013 we started a “Neighbor Garden” along the south side of the Dundee Community Garden, along Underwood Ave. The idea of the “Neighbor Garden” is that people in the neighborhood, or anyone walking by the garden, would be free to pick small amounts of vegetables or herbs that are growing in that area. This “help yourself to a handful of fresh produce” area has been well-received by the community.
Fruit Trees: In the fall of 2013 we planted six fruit trees (two apples, two peaches, a cherry and a plum) along the north (alley) side of the property. In June 2014, we planted strawberries under the fruit trees, to provide both berries for food, and a groundcover to keep out weeds.
Pollinator Flowers: We have planted the outside borders of the garden with flowers, to make the garden more attractive, as well as to attract butterflies and birds. We are increasing the number of native plants and pollinator plants throughout the garden. In 2014, we received a donation of native NE pollinator wildflowers from Meristem Nursery, which we planted along the north (alley) border of the garden. We also received a donation of flowers from Bloom’s Organics, including zinnias, whose bright colors draw pollinators to the garden, and butterfly milkweed, which is essential to the survival of monarch butterflies.
Solar Panels: In spring 2014, we installed three solar panels on the south-facing roof of the tool shed. We use solar power to charge our electric lawn mower and weed whacker, thereby reducing fossil fuel emissions and providing a clean energy demonstration project of an off-grid electrical system.
Rain Barrels: We have used rain barrels (placed under the gutters of the neighboring house) to collect rainwater, which we transfer to a large white tank in the garden, so that our gardeners can use rainwater as much as possible when watering their plots.
Compost: As part of an Eagle Scout Project, a scout from Boy Scout Troop 42 designed and built a state-of-the-art compost bin system for us in Aug. 2014. The bins have removable sides, making it easier to turn compost from bin to bin.
Entranceway: Dundee Community Garden commissioned an entranceway in 2014, which stands as a piece of public art at the corner of 49th St. and Underwood Ave. Designed by sculptor Dan Newberry with Greensleeves Gardens and Landscapes, the 10-foot high entranceway crossbeam is crowned with our logo, which is a whimsical depiction of people working together to carry a giant carrot.
Workshops: Dundee Community Garden has an educational component. Each season we offer a series of educational workshops on garden-related topics, ranging from best gardening practices, to edible weeds, that are free and open to the public. There is also much informal teaching of gardening techniques that happens while garden members tend their plots.
Events: We host several community-building events for the neighborhood each year: an Ice Cream Social, a Watermelon Feed, and we participate in the annual neighborhood celebration “Dundee Day.” We have a giant carrot we carry in the Dundee Day Parade in August, and in lieu of candy, we toss bags of mini-carrots to parade viewers. For up-to-date information, check out our Facebook page, or click on the calendar above, or on our Events tab, to see our next event!