In early 2016, Community Food Lab joined members of the Church on Morgan to plan a roof garden on their new building in downtown Raleigh. Community Food Lab led a four-month participatory planning process, during which Erin White facilitated conversations among Church on Morgan congregants around the vision for the rooftop’s physical space, mission, and activities through a process of discussion, feedback, and idea development. Supporting the collective work, Community Food Lab engaged structural engineers to propose and estimate costs for the imagined roof garden.
The core idea of the project is to literally express the vision of a “Garden in the City,” sparking connections and creative thinking about the role of the Church in Raleigh’s vibrant urban community.
Beyond simply a space for growing food and flowers, the Church’s rooftop garden will engage Church members in gardening activities, connect with the neighborhood through a new aesthetic presence, and engaging the broader community around fresh produce and food products. Through these activities, the rooftop garden will educate youth, build tangible community connections, and inspire new thinking about the Church’s impact in downtown Raleigh and along the Raleigh Food Corridor.
With the garden concept and report in hand, the Church has put the roof garden project on hold as it continues to weigh the feasibility and impact of the project.