Peace and Plenty of It

Tucked inland and surrounded by the city of Providence, the Peace and Plenty Community Garden lives up to its name. While it is a sanctuary for the peace-seekers, it is also a pollinator corridor that supports native bees, butterflies, lady bugs, and other creatures that complete a more wholistic garden system. There is also an outdoor gallery and bountiful food for all.

The community garden is recognized through the state of Rhode Island and the Providence Preservation Society. Its oldest tree was named by a member of the RI Green Team: Seymore the Sycamore, who is quite likely the second oldest Sycamore tree in Providence. This garden is well over 30 years old and is officially overseen by the Southside Community Land Trust. Inside the garden, there are 50 plots of land which are rented at a nominal fee. Priority is given to people who live close to this historical neighborhood landmark, and the garden aims to be as inclusive as possible.


The signage on the Peace Street side of the garden, as well as for the Peace and Plenty Park across the street, catch the eye. Visitors to the garden include passers-by, families using the playground, those en route to Dorcas International, and often folks from West Bay RI who are there to volunteer. Some visitors stop by to partake in the free stand, built by a Met High School senior. As of May 20 of this year, the free stand contains fresh mint, and there’s free firewood just a few feet away. If you swing high enough on a swing at the Peace and Plenty Park (and use a bit of imagination), your aerial vantage point will give you a view of the invertebrate species lounging in the mulch corridor.

Ka Xiong and Doug Victor in the garden.

“What it takes to make it successful,” says Garden leader Doug Victor, “is that it’s not a passive endeavor.” To talk of the Peace and Plenty Garden is to draw from over three decades as a community garden, and then over a hundred years for Seymore the Sycamore Tree, its surrounding stories, plenty of perspectives, and a promising future. The artwork by Jim Chapin on both the inside and outside of the safely enclosed oasis helps to tell the story of the neighborhood. And the Talking Tree initiative collects more stories, two of which have already been published. This project, like the other initiatives, is inviting community members to participate, to listen to trees’ stories, and to share those stories.

Whether it’s trees or bees, inside the fence or outside the fence, there is much to do at the Peace and Plenty Garden. Plus, there are many other community gardens to visit, support, appreciate, and partake in. The mulch corridor, the bird baths, the food corridor, the outdoor gallery, the land, the inventory of plant life, the removal of invasive plant life, the smells, the sounds, and the peace are plenty to remind us that there is always more to learn. To learn more, contact doug.crimewatch@gmail. com. Also check out 15 Minute Field Trips, the Young Farmers’ Group, Coalition Center 4 Environmental Sustainability (CC4ES), and connect with Representative Grace Diaz.