Community Gardens are popping up all over the country. Why? As people become more concerned about what they eat and what has happens to their food prior buying it, the desire to grow your own food is evident. In cooperation with the Adams County Commissioners, Penn State Extension provided a community garden for those that wanted to garden that either didn't have the opportunity on their own property or just enjoyed the sociable nature of community gardening. The gardens have become a regular educational opportunity here at the Agricultural and Natural Resources Center for the community involved in the program.

As gardeners, we all know that proper tools become very important in our daily chores of planting, weeding, and irrigating. Recognizing this need, a garden shed needed constructed. Instead of building a traditional shed only for storage, Penn State Extension and Adams County Conservation District wanted to show how gardeners could retrofit current sheds with a green roof. This shed has become an additional educational stormwater best management practice to the self-guided tour at the Agricultural and Natural Resources Center.

So what is a green roof? A green roof is a roof that has plants instead of traditional asphalt shingles or metal. Compared to a traditional rooftop, a green roof captures and stores a high percentage of rain. This reduces stormwater runoff that causes flooding in our local streams. By capturing rain before it becomes runoff, less tax dollars are needed to fix stream bank erosion issues. Not only are green roofs environmentally friendly, there are many other reasons why you would want one. Information concerning how green roofs are built and other benefits are available at the community garden shed.

The shed was constructed by the Gettysburg School District's Career and Technology Department led by David Snyder. His class worked on the project from estimating and ordering supplies to the construction of the building. Because of their efforts, the community garden shed will continue to be an opportunity for the community to learn more about green roofs.

The community garden shed was made possible with the help of the following cooperating organizations: Penn State Extension - Master Gardener Program, Adams County Commissioners, Adams County Conservation District and the Gettysburg School District.

For more information contact Mary Ann Ryan, Penn State Extension at mar@psu.edu or Adam McClain, Adams County Conservation District at amcclain@adamscounty.us.

Mary Ann Ryan is the Extension Consumer Horticulture Educator serving Adams County. Penn State Extension in Adams County is at 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Suite 204, Gettysburg PA 17325-3404, call 717-334-6271 or 888-472-0261, email AdamsExt@psu.edu.