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Unearthing Greenbelt's Historic Gardens



Greenbelt’s community gardens, part of the design plan from the start, are mostly tucked away at the edges of this historic town, easy to miss unless you know where to look. But Greenbelt’s community gardens are as much an integral planning component as the iconic superblocks, underpasses, and pedestrian walkways. While some garden locations have remained exactly the same since the first hoe struck the dirt in 1938, others have been whittled away, moved, and destroyed, lost to the misty haze of memory. Using historic research and modern mapping technology, Greenbelt’s historic gardens will be unearthed to tell their part of the story of Greenbelt’s development over the past 100 years. Join us on Thursday, July 18 in person, Room 201 of the Community Center, to learn more! The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Greenbelt Museum, the Recreation Department, and the City of Greenbelt. Photo of residents at work in their Greenbelt garden, Library of Congress.


Our speaker, Stephen Oetken, has been a volunteer docent, researcher, lecturer, and walking tour designer for the Greenbelt Museum since 1999. A lifelong Greenbelter, with degrees in History and Historic Preservation under his belt, he enjoys researching Greenbelt’s many fascinating storylines, and has even threatened to write a book someday chronicling the rich history of this planned community. Stephen has served on the FOGM Board as both president and secretary and on several GHI task forces related to historic preservation. He lives in Greenbelt with his partner Matthew and their black lab Kona.


The talk is a FREE, IN-PERSON event. We do not require registration in advance, but if you register, you will receive reminders for the event. The talk will take place in the multi-purpose room (Room 201) of the Greenbelt Community Center at 15 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, MD. Free parking is available on site.



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