Parking lots of have long been a source of contention at local mosques. Whether it is for Jummah Salat or during Ramadan, mosques have often faced an uphill battle securing enough space for congregants.
However, one community is taking the opposite approach and transforming this empty landscape into a beautiful community garden. The Muslim Community Association in Santa Clara, California, in collaboration with the MAS Bay Area Give have teamed up to create the Radwah Community Garden in the north end of their mosque. The goal of the project is to encourage environmentalism and to create a safe and welcoming space; promoting community connectivity through organic urban gardening.
Community gardens have become popular in the last several years as consumers seek local and organic produce. The spin-off benefits of urban gardening include revitalizing neighborhoods, creating community hubs and fostering a new generation to make sustainable and eco-conscious food choices. From a spiritual perspective, gardening allows you to be part of nature while meditating over the signs of Allah’s creation.
There is a three-tiered goal for the Rawdah Community Garden:
Community Connectivity: Raising the volunteerism and community spirit in the Islamic Centers in service of the larger American society.
Educating Sustainability: Learning about healthy eating and gardening, which can help us in starting a garden at home.
God's Bounties: Appreciation of nature, the environment and Allah’s blessings upon us.
The garden aims to provide educational and recreational opportunities for children and seniors and raise awareness about food systems. The produce that is grown and cultivated will be donated as a fresh alternative to local food banks or used in local soup kitchens.
For More Information
To learn more about the project and how you can become involved, visit the MAS Bay Area page at: http://masbayarea.org/rawdah/
The organizers have also initiated a LunchGood page at: https://www.launchgood.com/project/mas_rawdah_community_garden_at_mca_bay_area_mosque__ecoislam#/