In little more than 15 years The Wylde Center in Decatur, GA has grown from having one to a quartet of learning and demonstration gardens – to actively engage youth, families, schools and individuals in their environment and community. Year round, Wylde Center gardens serve as nature centers, neighborhood meeting spaces, and wildlife habitats open for all to experience the potential of urban greenspace. Monica Ponce took a few moments on an Emory College Workday, to talk about her work in the the Wylde Center’s Edgewood Community Learning Garden, which has a chicken coop, 11 raised beds with veggies and drip irrigation, a 1700 gallon rain-harvesting cistern, and a composting site.
From Hal Jacobs
Wylde Center’s founding garden, Oakhust Garden is constantly evolving! It has 32 plots available for people from the community to grow vegetables and flowers, a Cobb Adobe Playhouse for young explorers, a chicken coop and hen house, three bee hives, a pond, a streambed, and more. Sugar Creek Garden was added to the Wylde Center in 2010; Decatur resident Lindsey Mann initiated the garden with the mission to grow fresh, organic food in the city. Hawk Hollow was donated to the Wylde Center in May 2012. It rests on a flood plain of the Ocmulgee watershed and is one of Atlanta’s unique urban/wild interfaces. Home to many birds, Wylde Center’s focus at Hawk Hollow is stream bed restoration and water quality improvement, invasive plant management and reintroduction of native plants.
In this video, Executive Director of the Wylde Center, Stephanie Van Parys, explains how the Wylde Center’s name reflects its ever expanding role in happy and healthy community and environmental stewardship, and also honors its founder Sally Wylde.
Wylde Center fosters community engagement by promoting and collaborating on programs and projects that improve and protect the environment. Their organized programs, classes, and events develop creative skills in sustainable urban living, organic gardening, health and nutrition. For more information, visit the Wylde Center’s website. And check out “Team Chicken” at Oakhurst, whose ten member families care for the hens and share the cost of feed and straw. Folks come twice a day to let the chickens out, feed them, close them up at night and collect eggs in exchange, and share weekend coop-cleaning chores. Chicken COOP or CO-OP? How about both?