Wendenstraße 10,
99089 Erfurt, Thüringen

Dienstag bis Freitag: 10:00 - 18:00

Open Garden Erfurt

Almost 20,000 people live in three districts in a typical satellite city area with its densely packed concrete buildings. As in many other prefabricated housing areas in larger cities, there is talk of a “social imbalance” and a sense of dissatisfaction among the population, fueled by many factors. Due to a lack of guidelines for investments and a lack of holistic planning concepts in neighborhood development, it is not uncommon today to speak of such urban areas as structurally weak areas.

In 2015, such a place seemed just right for us to launch a participatory garden project. And so a flourishing oasis of civic engagement was created on the site of the district center on Herrenberg. Over the years, our team of volunteers came together on this very site and founded the Next Level educational association in summer 2020 to share our experiences and break new ground in the field of ecological education.

Today, the place is visited by residents of all ages who grow their own vegetables there and appreciate a cool spot under the open sky in the hot summer months. We are supported by the local volunteers and the close cooperation with Plattform e.V., which manages the site and runs the participatory community center STZ am Herrenberg. Here we regularly organize educational and vacation activities for children and adults on ecological topics and healthy living. Through “Do It Yourself” workshops and craft camps, we teach craft techniques, help people to help themselves and continue to develop the garden together. However, this place is also very important as an opportunity for social exchange and getting to know each other. It serves as a feel-good space close to nature where young and old, familiar and unfamiliar meet, where intergenerational education and participation are practiced.

Based on our own history and the experience we have gained in this way, we also address the topic of “Urban gardens as a holistic solution approach in structurally weak areas.” in our “Greencademy” educational program.

Open Garden Erfurt - Images