The Northland Partners for Opportunity will continue to focus on community gardens and community building at its next meeting, organizer Jenny Lin said.

Lin, head of the sponsoring organization Northland Alliance, said last week the meeting for representatives of nonprofit organizations and agencies active in the neighborhood will be held at noon on Monday, March 20, in room A-2 at the Ashland University Columbus campus, 1900 E. Dublin-Granville Road.

Healthy-food initiatives have been discussed at past meetings of Northland Partners, an outgrowth of a series of nonprofit workshops started by Joyce Bourgault, former Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center executive director.

The best approach to fostering more community gardens as a way of providing better access to healthy food is still a work in progress, Lin said.

"We're figuring out how we can do that," she said. "It's still evolving a little bit, but it's how to be more sustainable."

Lin said she is hoping to have people who have successfully organized community gardens in the past attend the meeting.

"Another aspect could be designing some community events around our gardens, whether people are gardeners or not," Lin wrote in announcing the next Northland Partners meeting. "We also want to continue to understand better how we can support and help network to maximize the impact of the community gardens we have."

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church on East Dublin-Granville Road is a possible location for a new community garden, Lin said.

The Rev. Phyllis A. Heffner, who participates in Northland Partners for Opportunity meetings, said it's far from a done deal, but noted that the 5.8 acres on which the church sits is a lot of land.

"I think they would be open to setting aside an acre," Heffner said of her congregation. "I think -- and I can't speak for the session or the church -- that they would be open to letting a group use the land. We don't want to get into operating a community garden.

"We want to keep kicking this around."