North Minneapolis is building a super-rad, basketball-themed community garden

The map details what to expect.

The map details what to expect. Courtesy Aune Fernandez Landscape Architects

Yes, it will be basketball-themed, with each section of the court offering a variety of flora. 

For the project, the Walker Art Center has teamed up with Youth Farm, a local nonprofit that employs food and gardening as tools for social and community change. The garden is the brainchild of Des Moines-based artist Jordan Weber, who is currently in residence at the museum. Titled Prototype for poetry vs rhetoric (deep roots), it will honor the four tenets of Weber’s practice: self-empowerment and determination; soil and air cleansing; spiritual reflection and meditation; and medicinal and food supply. 

“This project also pays homage to generations of north Minneapolis environmental and social justice activists that have guided every step to help us self-heal land in order to self-heal our bodies,” says Weber, who has hosted events and worked with community members, activists, and artists in planning the garden.

The proposed aspects of the garden sound like an urban Eden: 

“Two metal hoop sculptures at each end of the garden will collect and distribute rainwater to the plants,” the release states. “The garden will feature fresh pollution-mitigating plants, indigenous grasses, and spaces for the cultivation of fresh produce that will be made available to residents through Youth Farm.”

Fresh produce and other delights will include sections dedicated to fruit trees, an “herb spiral,” and raised vegetable beds. There will also be an area for community gatherings, small hangouts, and meditation.

We found the lot online via Google.

We found the lot online via Google. Google Maps

“Green spaces are an essential component of healthy neighborhoods everywhere,” says Alex Heid, a landscape designer at Aune Fernandez, which will also help the project come to fruition. “Jordan’s work is a powerful example of how much our surroundings influence us and how they can be a tool for fostering community.”

The garden will be located on a vacant lot on Lyndale Avenue North between 23rd and 24th Streets in Minneapolis. Weber and the Walker will be on hand May 30 for a groundbreaking ceremony. While programming and schedules will be staggered throughout 2020 due to COVID complications, the garden is set to officially launch in summer of 2021.