Fayetteville Community Garden Coalition moves forward

Press Release:  February 2009 Fayetteville Community Garden Coalition

Fayetteville Community Garden Coalition committee and the City of Fayetteville invite you to participate in launching a community gardens program. Join us in developing a network of garden “communities” that learn and grow as one. 

Washington County Extension is offering continuous educational support and outreach for this program.

When: Tuesday, February 24, Noon – 1:15 p.m.

                                     And

            Thursday, March 5, 5:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

Where: Fayetteville Public Library, Walker Room

The FCGC committee wants to hear your interest in community gardens. Tell us what you need to initiate gardens or continue with current activities and who should be involved to develop this program, including providing resources.

Learn about community-building activities that these gardens can provide in your neighborhood and the ways they can benefit Fayetteville.

Learn how groups of citizens work together to create their community gardens by participation in all aspects of garden planning and development.  This includes site selection, garden design, construction, planting and harvesting and what to do with the harvest, whether it is vegetables, flowers or even honey!

Identify ways you can be involved to grow a community garden in your neighborhood!

 

______________________

 

 

Fayetteville Community Garden Coalition (FCGC)

Initiated weekly meetings January 10, 2009

 

Objectives/Concepts:

·        

Develop network of garden “communities” that learn and grow as one.

·        

Sustainable/Organic: emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.

·        

Each garden community will develop their garden and garden activities. Each community will continually define its own goals, (personal use, donation of surplus food, plant-a-row, education, fundraising, entrepreneurship, etc) design, and structure. 

·        

Education: Improved nutrition through all phases of home food production and processing, other local sources of food including farmers market and CSAs.

 

Goals:

Short-term

a.   

Create CGs policy committee to define and implement CG objectives.  

      Currently have 6-member committee

b.   

Focus:

·        

Public meetings to involve community (all sectors)

·        

Land acquisition, water must be available (for e.g. pilot project plus 1 garden/quadrant and/or area where most interest is)

·        

Develop coalition of partners (ONF, UofA, Wash. Co. Ext., DHS, School District, AATRA, NCAT, City, etc.) Define potential role of partners, seek involvement

·        

Facilitate development of individual gardens based on participating

           garden members needs

·        

Identify garden leaders and develop volunteer base for each garden

c.   

Community Food Assessment

d.   

Utilize City web site

e.   

Zoning requirements (schools, parks, churches, neighborhoods, private and

      other lands)

f.    

Appoint program coordinator

 

Medium-term

a.   

Utilize existing Ordinances (green space and/or others) to set aside preserve

      land for CGs

b.   

Include CGs in general and comprehensive city plans

c.   

Develop avenues to support community food banks/food kitchens/address

      childhood obesity

d.   

Develop economic opportunities for youth and low-income citizens

e.   

Add gardens as community needs and input necessitate

(continued)

Long-term

a.  Partner to develop community facilities for food processing

b.  Monitor/improve existing programs

 

Assessment:

1.    Assess the current state of community gardens in       
      Fayetteville (public meetings will facilitate this) 
·         Locate current active sites and people
·         Where interest level is in the community
·         Determine needs to support a network of gardens 
2.    Initial goals 
·         Develop unified CGs wherever there is interest and community 
·         Identify neighborhood/community members that will actively 
      lead and participate in all phases of development and management for 
      their gardens.
3.  Roles of our CGs committee/city government/other partners:
·         Facilitate CGs from the people up, creating excitement in the community        
·         Support many community building possibilities of CGs
·         Facilitate development of CGs with resources that the gardening members need.  Facilitation should be to help the community build their gardens and the programs that evolve around CGs 

 

Populations served:

·        

Low income residents

·        

Youth (obesity and other at risk populations)

·        

Social Service agencies

·        

Volunteers/residents grow to donate to hunger-relief agencies.

·        

ADA plots/other features

·        

Home school students

·        

Traditional students

   Funding/Supplies Sources:

·        

Grants

·        

Fundraising

·        

Municipal participation

·        

Business and residential donations (monetary and in-kind)

 

Priorities Winter/Spring 2009:

1.   

Conduct public meetings to learn who most is interested and where they are located

2.   

Secure land site(s) with water (gardens can be planned and constructed very inexpensively, need land and water)

3.   

Access to City's Web site

(continued)

 

4.   

Yvonne Richardson Center Children’s Garden

·        

Apply for $2,300 Fiskars for gardening tools and equipment

·        

Garden start Spring 2009

·        

Teach youth how to garden and prepare foods

 

 

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities Grant:

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) whose primary goal is to implement healthy eating and active living initiatives that can support healthier communities for children and families across the United States. The program places special emphasis on reaching children who are at highest risk for obesity on the basis of race/ethnicity, income and/or geographic location. This initiative will advance RWJF’s efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015.

Through this call for proposals (CFP), RWJF will award approximately 60 grants to help local community partnerships across the United States increase opportunities for physical activity and improve access to affordable healthy foods for children and families. Special consideration will be given to communities in 15 states where the incidence of or risk for childhood obesity is the greatest. Approximately half of the grants under this CFP will be awarded to communities in these states. 

 

Brief proposal submitted on February 2, 2009 for $320,000

Long proposal due May 14, 2009

Late September finalist notified

Funding announced December 15, 2009.

 

 

 

If anyone wants email contacts for this project, speak up

Comments

Building this together

Hello, my name is Kolin Blakely and I'm the President of a new non-profite, Youth Initiative called Project 180.  Since we are in the very early stages, we would like to work with other organizations with the same vision. I saw the newspaper article the other day and it couldn't have come at a better time. I'm interested in attending your next meeting for FCGC. Could you tell me your meeting schedule and/or a way I can arrange a meeting to disucss our program to you? Thank you for your time!!!