Community garden on the premises of the volunteer house. 

Guest blog from Lokal Wilkommen.

Creating meeting places in the neighbourhood is an important task for the Dortmund Integration network „Local Wilkommen„. Lokal Wilkommen is operated by the City of Dortmund and the Caritas, the main focus lies in the integration into the city society to people who already live in their own apartments in Brackel and Aplerbeck areas. This includes support in all areas of life, e.g.  search for a German course or the possibility to do Voluntary services in language cafés, leisure activities or tutoring. Another main focus is to strengthen neighbourly coexistence. „Local willkommen“ works with different organisations such as church congregations, associations, and with sports clubs. With new offers and a warm welcome by the city of Dortmund the integration of the refugees is ensured. 

In cooperation with the Evangelical Church District of Dortmund at the International Volunteers House, the community garden „Meylantstrasse blossoms“ is created. The garden is open to the public and located at Meylantstraße 77. The Referat ökumene has provided the space for this project. 

In the meantime, there are three raised beds in the community garden, in addition to which there are furniture where one can relax. Neighbours, visitors and volunteers who live in the house have always been a major part of all events.  

On the 5th of September the community garden was opened with a barbecue party, despite the heavy rain, about 50 local residents met and were informed about the planted projects in the garden, they spent time together in the garden while the first radishes, salad and various herbs were harvested. It was quite evident that at this neighbourly meeting place was an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience and to overcome language barriers. A construction of an insect hotel and workshop to promote the production of natural colours has also been planned as future projects. 

The community garden is sponsored by the LEG NRW Foundation Mieter-Stiftung, by means of the Framework of the federal program „Social City Action Plan“ and „KOMM-AN NRW“, A program of funding by the state to promote the integration and participation of Refugees in the communities. 

Do you have questions about the community garden? The staff of „lokal wikommen“ are looking forward to hearing from you (lokalwillkommen.BA@stadtdo.de).