CoPed Case Study #2: North Minneapolis Hawthorne-Kwanzaa Community Garden



Post tornado

Affiliation: University of Minnesota School of Design

Dates of Project2011 – 2012

Partners: Friedman’s Department Store, Kwanzaa Community Church

Goal or Aim:  Conceived as an alternative to the conventional master plan, The Plan proposes contemporary solutions grounded in the local assets of a post-industrial, economically devastated neighborhood on the edge of downtown Syracuse.

Why Pursue this?:  The May 2011 tornadoes to the North side of Minneapolis functionally wiped out an existing community garden.  Community members were also looking for ways to increase youth involvement in gardening and healthy foods.

Susan Friedman at the Hawthorne community garden in north Minneapolis (Credit:
Susan Friedman at the Hawthorne community garden in north Minneapolis (Credit:

Where does it stand today?: One year after the tornado, there was a celebratory barbecue in the garden.  They plan to continue to engage in community gardening.  According to the Kwanzaa Church, “‘The garden has also proven to affect people’s hearts. Larkin said she is delighted when community members stop to chat with her while she’s gardening. “The garden reminds people of where they came from as children,” she said. “People stop by and say, ‘I remember when my grandmamma had a garden like this and she would make us fried green tomatoes from our garden!’ It allows us to connect with people and gives us the opportunity to invited them to garden with us.'”

Sources: UMN School of Design, Kare11, Kare11, Kwanzaa Church, Star Tribune

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