We had to make one of the most difficult decisions three years ago after I found out I was preggers with #2...whether or not to move out of the city and into the 'burbs, so that the snot noses would have a garden and room enough to play.
|Baby Daddy and the city guy working on the garden|
But that all changed last week! Baby Daddy hooked us up with our very own (ok we share with two other neighbors) garden in front of our house. We noticed that one block down the street the residents had turned their strip of bushes into a garden with a picnic table and vegetable garden. We thought well if they could do it then we should be able to do the same. After extensive research Baby Daddy found a contact with the "gemeente" or city government and he emailed the guy asking what we could do to have the same "garden".
Immediately the city representative answered us back and set up a meeting to discuss. All it took was for Baby Daddy to send an email around to the surrounding neighbors to have their input, and then the project was underway.
The wasted strip of bushes full of weeds and dog poop slowly turned into our community garden. This city rep pulled out all stops for us to have everything we needed...at no expense to us, we just had to help out. And the city even removed the bushes and tree, put down woodchips, supplied us an old picnic table and wood to refurbish it with and park benches. Ok, maybe it's not for free, but for once I don't mind paying so many taxes. It was amazing how much this rep helped us out. He even came by on a Saturday to help Baby Daddy put up the fence (which he also supplied) and re-work the picnic table.
And it was a success from the very first day! We met neighbors we hadn't met in the three years living here. We all sat together, drank wine and the kids had a blast playing in the "garden" and sidewalk. Matter-of-fact one of our neighbors has lived here 33 years and she said this was the best thing ever to happen to this street.
For me, finally after almost 10 years of living in "the city" I feel like I live in a community. I now know my neighbors and we have a place to meet together to BBQ, have a drink or enjoy the sunshine without sitting on the sidewalk. Most importantly, my kids have a little piece of green in the city to play safely in front of their own home! And it is all thanks to the City of Amsterdam and of course all the hard work Baby Daddy put into making it happen!
I know I have said it a 1,000 times but Amsterdam is an amazing place to raise a family and so much more than just a city full of red lights!