The Ohio State University at Lima

University and community partners announce future Jackson Street urban garden and community space in Lima

The Ohio State University and multiple community partners have come together to build a garden and community space on previously vacant land in the city of Lima.

The project partners gathered on a blustery November day to announce the South Jackson Community Garden Project and its expected open date of spring 2019.

The South Jackson Community Garden Project grew out of an OSU Connect and Collaborate Grant to reuse vacant land within the city to design and build a model urban garden and community space for food and health-related entrepreneurial activities. This follows an earlier Ohio Land Exchange (OH/LEX) project, which started in 2015 with collaborators from the city of Lima, Ohio State Lima, and OSU's Knowlton School of Architecture.

The South Jackson project brings together 14 community organizations interested in transformational action to alleviate food insecurity, increase the productive use of vacant land and focus on health and wellness, and it is the product of an intensive stakeholder engagement process that took place over the past year.

Ohio State University Extension was primarily responsible for management and oversight of this process. Ohio State’s Knowlton School is providing project design, research and technical support regarding the community garden and community space. In addition, the Knowlton School and Extension will work together on providing grant-writing support for potential follow-up grants. Ohio State’s Center for Urban and Regional Analysis is responsible for the maintenance and enhancement of the online data portal. The City of Lima is providing access to vacant land in the city.

The South Jackson Community Garden Project will include a model urban garden planted and maintained by LACNIP/Lima Sprouts. Programming and education will come from Activate Allen County, Allen County Public Health, Allen Soil and Water District, Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce, Mercy Health, Ohio State Lima and Ohio State’s Digital Flagship Initiative, United Way of Greater Lima, West Ohio Food Bank and Legacy Link and Satellite Foods. Ohio State Lima students have provided research assistance from the start of the OH/LEX project and the Department of Theatre has provided building and logistical support.

Mercy Health has provided the funding for materials and construction of the South Jackson project.


  • Activate Allen County
  • Allen County Public Health
  • Allen Soil and Water Conservation District
  • City of Lima
  • LACNIP/Lima Sprouts
  • Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce/Food Market
  • Mercy Health
  • The Ohio State University at Lima
  • The Ohio State University Center for Urban and Regional Analysis
  • Ohio State University Extension Community Development
  • The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture – City and Regional Planning, Landscape Architecture
  • United Way of Greater Lima
  • West Ohio Food Bank
  • Legacy Link/Satellite Foods

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South Jackson Street garden

Photo above: City of Lima Mayor David Berger, Mercy Health CEO and President Bob Baxter, Ohio State Lima Associate Dean Fabio Leite, Knowlton School Assistant Professor Mattijs van Maasakkers, Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jed Metzger and OSU Extension Field Specialist in Community Economics Nancy Bowen-Ellzey.