Southside Community Gardens,  A Project Supported by Lehigh University’s  South Side Initiative.

Lehigh University’s South Side Initiative is leading an effort to build and work a series of community gardens along the Greenway and perhaps other locations on the southside of Bethlehem.  Mayor John Callahan and the City of Bethlehem are key partners in this venture, as they want to see city residents and groups take responsibility for sections of  the Greenway and we want parcels of land to be dedicated to gardening.  Federal stimulus grant proposals may be submitted with the City for community gardens development along with other Greenway projects.  Funding from the state of Pennsylvania, including from its Department of Community and Economic Development, will also be pursued.

The time is right.  Along with the national and international movements towards urban agriculture, there are any number of organizations in the Lehigh Valley focused on green technology, sustainability, and generally making the area and its city centers more “walkable” and more environmentally and economically sound.  Lehigh University is among these organizations:  its multi-million dollar Environmental Initiative, an academic enterprise, is calibrated partially towards local research and experiential and service learning; President Alice Gast is interested in urban gardens and has made community outreach a priority in the university’s new Strategic Plan; and the South Side Initiative is dedicated to mobilizing students, staff, and faculty to work with the community in heightening historical understanding, cultural creativity, and social justice during this time of epochal transformation.

We invite you to join us, here with your voice on our blog, along 4th Street with your shovel and with your enthusiasm to bring this project to fruition at our  first Public Meeting on Tuesday, August 11th at 7:00 pm–location TBA.


John Pettegrew

Associate Professor of History &  Director of the South Side Initiative, Lehigh University


3 Responses to “About the Southside Community Gardens”

  1. Janneke Bos-De Camp Says:

    Hi, I’ve discovered the Maze Garden, on 3rd and New street. Is it part of your project?
    I’ve done some planting but there wasn’t any water available. Is that little pond going to be filled?
    Do I need to register?
    Thank you.

    • Blaine Waide Says:

      Hi, Janneke, Thanks for your interest in our project. Yes, the Maze Garden is part of the SCG project. I see you registered using the link at this blog. I sent you an email from the SCG gmail account with more details about plots. You can always check back at this blog for updates. Thanks, Blaine

  2. […] Express Times featured a story on the South Side Community Gardening Initiative that is underway within South Bethlehem. Part of Lehigh University’s SouthSide Initiative, […]

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