Do you know there’s a special place in our city where you can find your workout, Zen, green thumb, and ways to reduce your carbon footprint all in one spot? The Civic Garden Center (CGC) is a place that offers all of that, and it sits peacefully within city limits.
Located in Avondale at the corner of Reading Road and William Howard Taft, this eight-acre botanical oasis will pull you away into the garden and along some nature trails. There's a multitude of areas on the site where you can advance your knowledge of what it means to be green in the environment. PLUS—the CGC offers free parking and Wi-Fi—perfect for a workday away from the office.
“The Garden attracts people from across all generations and income levels. We’re grassroots,” Karen Kahle, the CGC Executive Director, explains. “We’re into bringing people together around food, around nature, and around living more sustainably on this planet.”
Health starts with food.
The CGC is determined to give Cincinnati residents access to healthy food. One way to do that is through education about how to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your everyday diet. CGC hosts cooking classes which highlight the Mediterranean diet by Kate Zaidan from Mediterranean Imports. The goal of all the classes is to teach you how to start with fresh, high-quality food and then show you how to use them in some simple recipes that won’t take all day to prepare.
Want a mind-tap?
CGC offers a robust array of environmental education opportunities. Visit the Green Learning Station (GLS), whose objective is to help people live more sustainably at home, at work, and in their neighborhood. Through the GLS, classes are offered for folks of all ages, including middle and high school students, as well as a year-long Green Girls in Stem program. Additionally, the Hoffman Library is a quiet, peaceful space where you can do research, read, or work. It's also one of only four horticultural libraries in Ohio.
You can also affordably rent the space for private meetings and events.
What's the buzz?
Through the year, the CGC hosts a series of beginning and intermediate beekeeping classes. Learn all about the fascinating honey, how to manage a hive, and how to extract honey from your hive.
Do you have (or want to acquire) a green thumb?
Greg Potter is responsible for the community gardens program at CGC, and his objective is to create a community of community gardens. The community gardens program provides ongoing education, support, and resources so residents can improve their access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Each year, CGC offers a 12-week community garden development program, as well as other classes to help you learn how to successfully grow food.
The CGC has an onsite working and teaching garden to show you the basics, too. Their first community garden was the OTR People’s Garden created in 1980, and it’s still going strong.
Walking is a great way to stay healthy, and Sports Medicine doctors, such as OrthoCincy's Michael L. Swank, suggest 30 minutes of it per day. Follow the Hauck Legacy Trail to learn about trees, fruits, and vegetables while you get that daily walk in. And to get another workout, you can volunteer for a variety of workdays in community gardens around the city.
Not up for a walk? Get your stretch on and attend a yoga class. Yoga in the Garden is offered onsite once a month.
The Civic Garden Center excels at bringing people together. In fact, building community is probably the most important part of their mission. In a holistic way, the garden creates a healthy community.
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To learn more, visit the Civic Garden Center (they have staff onsite daily) located at 2715 Reading Road (45206). And the annual Plant Sale is coming up again on May 3-4.