Planting the Seeds

The primary way in which we expand our mission is to look for a block that has tree boxes that would benefit from some Guerrilla Gardeners attention. We select the worst one or several to transform. Minimally, we pull weeds and apply mulch, but sometimes we add some hardy plant material, such as daylilies or liriope as well. 

During the course of this process, a nearby resident usually inquires about what we are doing. This gives us the opportunity share the story about our movement. Sometimes, that person commits to maintaining the tree box, others give a contribution and every once in a while we gain a new recruit to our ranks. Sometimes none of that happens, but on subsequent visits we have noticed the tree box is being maintained and others are newly tended.

In the case of larger areas, like pocket parks and official designated parks under the jurisdiction of DC Parks and Recreation, we begin our work while at the same time forming a "Friends of" organization to keep up the park in conjunction with DCPR. This has a community-building impact, uniting neighbors in a common cause that has numerous tangible and intangible benefits.

In the traditional sense of guerrilla gardening, we clean up an area that is a sliver of land that has no neighbors to adopt it, but is nonetheless visibly neglected. Just pulling the weeds neutralizes the negative statement it was making and adding some flowing perennials provides a little cheer to an otherwise dismal space.

The Next Step

We continue to assist new guerrilla gardeners through encouragement, advice and supplies.