Neighborhood Planters Kiosks help build thriving communities
Neighborhood Planters Kiosks (NPKs) look a bit like Little Free Libraries, but instead of sharing books, they offer seasonally relevant, research-based gardening tips. NPK is a collaboration of OSU Extension Benton County Master Gardeners, the Corvallis Evening Garden Club, the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition, and the City of Corvallis Civic Beauty and Urban Forestry Group. OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers Christina Clark and Kathleen Rochester contributed to this story. Learn more at the NPK blog.
Elizabeth Records – OSU Extension: For someone who has never seen an NPK before, describe what it looks like and where it might be found.
Neighborhood Planter Kiosk team: NPKs (Neighborhood Planters’ Kiosks –a word play on the NPK composition of fertilizer) are bright painted wooden boxes. They are mounted on posts in volunteers’ yards where they can be seen from the street. They can be found in parks, community gardens, and front yards all over Corvallis.
ER: Who is the intended audience for NPKs?
NPK: Our intended audience is anyone who is interested in or might become interested in gardening, sustainable living, and enjoying our outdoor spaces.
ER: What are some sources of inspiration for this project?
NPK: We’d like to build community and share the love of gardening. We’re continuing to try to reach a greater audience with research-based information. Some of the misinformation out there can lead to discouragement, wasted time and money, or negative effects on our environment.
Gardening is such a fun, healthy, vital part of our lives that we’d like to encourage others to also benefit. We also believe that growing our own food is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves, our loved ones, and our planet. Sustainability is never more fun than when we learn to grow something for ourselves!
ER: How do NPKs help fulfill the mission of OSU Extension Service?
NPK: We plant gardening ideas to help build thriving communities! While OSU Extension supports a variety of programs, we focus on gardening education and related community events. Much of the information we share starts with tips from OSU Extension’s monthly gardening calendar. Then our writers add photos and resources to engage our readers. Links on our blog connect them with additional Extension articles that help them get more in depth.
We provide another way to link Extension and all its expertise and knowledge with anyone on the street or in front of a computer. We hope to engage people that may not know how much free, but valuable research-based information could be at their fingertips.
ER: Is there a story that stands out to you about someone interacting with NPK kiosks or blog posts?
NPK: We’ve had views from all over the world. We had one email come in from Victoria in Omaha, Nebraska. She was part of a group trying to start a similar program in their neighborhood; trying to find funding and figure out how to build the kiosks. It was great fun to share our enthusiasm and many building tips and photos.
Have you visited a Neighborhood Planter Kiosk for garden information or inspiration? Share your story with elizabeth.records(at)oregonstate.edu and we’ll post it in future updates. Check out the NPK blog anytime.