Merrick-Moore CDC


Samuel green sr. Community garden

Merrick-Moore community is steeped in the tradition of inground gardening. Many of the original residents were born from a life of sharecropping. Gardens were a lot of work but brought a great sense of pride in having neatly planted rows that were weed-free and produced an abundance of food to feed your family and others. My father’s mantra was to plant more than you need so that you have enough to share with those in need.

The Samuel Green Sr. Community Garden is named after my father who was a master gardener. We wanted to honor the practice of in-ground gardening utilizing the hügelkultur technique. Our vision is a space that will host a community garden and food forest, a place where community members can gather to connect, and a haven for wildlife.


-Bonita Green, MMCDC Executive Director

Click here to view the layout plan.


This project aims to reduce food insecurity in the neighborhood, by growing fruits and vegetables, as well as hosting gatherings and events. Samuel Green Sr. Community Garden is an ideal way of revisiting Merrick-Moore’s community history of yard gardens. 

Phase 1 of this project involved being awarded the Neighborhood Matching Grant by the City of Durham’s Neighbor hood Improvement Services Department. We received funding that enabled us to remove invasive species and contract for forestry mulching.


designing the garden

The community held a workshop on June 10, 2021 at Mt. Zoar Baptist Church (walking distance to the garden site). The workshop was a part of a regularly scheduled Merrick-Moore Community meeting. Participants were invited to engage to two exercises: planning, and visual preference.

Planning results from 9 participants aggregated into two general concepts. The first concept used the area south of the creek as a mixed agriculture and community gathering zone reserving north of the creek for walking trails. The second concept used the area south of the creek as a mixed agriculture and community gathering zone including a high house but without inground fields. The area north of the creek was used for in ground fields, included additional gathering and shelter spaces.

In terms of visual preference, workshop participants expressed the desire for a permanent formal shelter, low impact unpaved trails and wooden bridges at creek crossings, and a range of agricultural areas (in ground, raised beds, and hoop houses). The results of the workshop will inform the development of concepts for community review before finalizing a single garden concept plan.


To ensure a successful outcome, we have and will be partnering with:

  • Kofi Boone, FASLA, Professor and University Faculty Scholar, NC State University College of Design.
  • The Ellerbe Creek Watershed, to identify invasive plant species. Support work through installing rain gardens and cisterns.
  • Duke University, for water samples.
  • Trees Durham, to donate fruit and nut trees.
  • Keep Durham Beautiful, for use of their tool lending library and donating pollinator plants.
  • The Conservation Fund

This project is being completed in phases and each phase will have different needs, with financial and volunteers being a major factor of each phase. We are actively seeking sponsorship from individuals and businesses who are able to contribute through labor or sponsorships.