Scotts Miracle Gro Community Garden

Designers: MSI Design (now MKSK) | City: Columbus, OH | Project Type: community garden
Date Visited: 09.29.12

Location: Conservatory Dr, Columbus, OH
Size: 7 acres
Official Opening Date: 2009

In the previously neglected, southeast corner of Franklin Park grows the living classroom and community resource, Scotts Miracle Gro Community Garden. Sponsored by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and designed by MSI Design, this six-acre plot of land has sprung to life and to the attention of the Ohio design community, and was ultimately awarded 2010 Ohio ASLA Honor Award in 2010.

From the 2010 OCASLA Awards Jury Comments:

“The seven-acre campus brings to life an eight-year effort to revitalize the seldom-visited southeast corner of Franklin Park. The campus showcases the beauty and benefits of locally grown produce and provides an educational venue for community members to pursue their gardening passions and cooking interests. Designed to provide inspiration for home landscape projects, the various gardens exhibit custom details and unique materials that conform to organic and sustainable principles. The campus is home to demonstration work areas, whimsical places of respite, an educational pavilion, and summer kitchen and accessible, at-grade garden plots that are available to the public for rent.”

The Scotts Miracle Gro Community Garden is a whimsical and fun place to visit, particularly for kids (the colorful butterflies are a nice touch). I also like all of the educational signage lining the area and the gardens are well-kept, marked and clean but it’s almost to a fault. The community garden serves well as an educational space, however, it lacks the feel of a true community garden with its tidy looking exhibits. This isn’t to say it isn’t community-oriented, since the gardens hold a large number of public workshops and classes. With educational spaces ranging from the pollinator garden to rain gardens and even to live fire cooking theaters, the Scotts Miracle Gro Community Garden will continue to serve as an important inspirational and educational resource.

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