Carnegie Mellon University

Urban Garden


Art Professor and Alumnae Create Urban Garden in Alabama

urbangardenBob Bingham, professor of art and STUDIO for Creative Inquiry fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, has teamed up with Pittsburgh artists Ally Reeves (MFA'08) and Robin Hewlett (A'04) to create One Mile Garden, a community initiative in York, Ala., that provides residents with opportunities for education and better health. The artists worked through the Coleman Center for the Arts in downtown York and bicycled around town to engage residents in conversation about their relationship to the land and food. Through a series of visits and community meetings, they worked with locals to establish garden sites and to develop a program for growing healthy food.

The artists worked with Catherine Shelton, a self-taught organic gardener, to establish the first large community garden at the Coleman Center. Satellite gardens were then established at sites around York, including the Eastern Star Baptist Church, West End Jr. High School and the Cherokee Park Orchard. One Mile Garden was featured in an exhibition at the Coleman Center gallery from Sept. 25 to Nov. 13, 2009.

The artists hope to return to York for spring planting and autumn harvest to establish more sites, and to develop a food distribution program. For more information, visit or

Eric Sloss