Gateway Garden - 12th Ave SE & East Hennepin Ave  map

Action at this garden is suspended due to the City of Minneapolis  storm sewer project.  Stormwater construction project started in the winter of 2011 and the garden would need to be entirely rebuilt if its to exist anymore. Neighbor assistance and interest is what's needed to make it happen.

Glimpses of the past gardening activities:

Come out to "The Gateway Garden" to meet up with neighbors and help add some much-needed color and beauty to the neighborhood landscape! No gardening experience is necessary. We even provide the tools and snacks. Kids are welcome too.

Typical Garden Night Activities

~planting ~chatting ~ painting decorative items ~snacking ~mulching ~ pruning ~ socializing ~ watering ~ watching the kids play ~ weeding ~picking up garbage ~ asking your own garden questions (Master Gardeners and Tree Care Advisors are on hand) ~enjoying the weather

How the Gateway Garden Came to be

Otherwise know as "The Chair Garden," this community garden was created in response to 911 events. The sad events of that day spurred neighbors to plant and beautify their block. Garden leader, Robyn, took to her boulevard and installed a little garden in hopes of reaching out to her community. She found that folks did indeed stop and chat, which lead Robyn's vision to expand to the MnDOT easement adjacent to her property. This unremarkable parcel had a few boulevard trees, grass, and mostly the visible remnants of a paused, yet ongoing sewer project . In 2002, SECIA was contacted about starting a community garden on that site. The garden goals consisted of not only beautifying the site, but bringing neighbors together. The result is a beautified corner, giving traffic a reason to pause and providing a reason for neighbors to gather in this corner of South East Minneapolis.

Garden Art and Garden Celebrations

This block and garden has a long tradition of National Night Out celebrations, ice cream socials, Parade of Community Garden events, block parties and creating garden art! These block parties have become "garden parties" and it is the one certain time a year that neighbors are sure to come out and visit. Painted and planted chairs, mosaics, painted stones, and handmade wind chimes have all been features of this community garden. Many of these art projects happen at block gatherings at the garden.

Techniques and sponsors

The garden itself was designed to be low maintenance, using the lasagna method of installation -- ample use of mulch to limit weeds and hold moisture. Also, a Tree Trust grant provided for the addition of ornamental trees. The bus stop area was incorporated in the garden and all this was done in coordination with the Minneapolis Sewer Department, because they intended to return to the site and will eventually finish the sewer repair project. Using thatt coordination, the unsightly utilities were minimized. The Sewer Dept has done additional work in the garden area so this year will be another recovery year. Some cleanup was done on Earth Day, and lots more replanting and reevaluating needs to be done. New fruiting shrubs will be going in soon. It will be another busy year at the Gateway Garden.

The garden's implementations also resulted in garden supporters assisting an elderly neighbor who needed help mowing a property adjacent to the garden. In recent years, more University student involvement occurred through volunteers on Earth Day and the other "volunteers" during the growing season via the Restorative Justice Program.


Contact Steph at SECIA with inquires: