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Providence, RI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: To give residents of the Amos House shelter program opportunities to socialize, as well as access to fresh produce, the Southside Community Land Trust created a community garden at the St. Martin De Porres Center. Participants in the Trust's youth program worked to build raised garden beds onsite, added seating and painted murals. To honor residents' African, Caribbean and Central American roots, organizers chose a tropical theme for the artwork. The effort was intergenerational -- older adult residents supervised the youth workers as they planted herbs and vegetables. Today, Amos House residents are involved in all aspects of tending the garden, from planting to harvesting and meal preparation. Additionally, the nonprofit's soup kitchen uses vegetables from the garden to provide tens of thousands of meals to food insecure families each year.

St. George, AK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: To help increase food security and overall livability in St. George, the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association renovated its greenhouse. In additional to providing a place to grow produce, the greenhouse doubles as a community gathering space.

Houston, TX

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: Once a vacant lot, the Harry Holmes Healthy Harvest provides free access to garden beds for resident of Houston's Sunnyside neighborhood, a historically Black community. The Houston Land Bank wanted to improve the space to make it more welcoming to people of all ages and abilities. Volunteers built raised beds and installed solar lighting to allow gardeners to work after dark. They also created an accessible pathway, which is designed to be less muddy and slippery after rain. New fig trees at the garden's entrance beautify the space and provide fresh fruit. To celebrate the project's completion, the Land Bank hosted a community event, which promoted grandparents and grandchildren gardening together. At the event, organizers distributed information on financial literacy and affordable paths to homeownership.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

San Leandro, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Developing projects based on residents' priorities

Description: The City of San Leandro hosted a design charrette to engage residents -- including students and older adults -- in the planning process for a school gardening space. Historically, teachers and students interested in improving the space had difficulty connecting with community groups. The design workshop addressed this, bringing together local schools with Friends of the San Leandro Cree, StopWaste, and the Sogorea Te Land Trust, a local indigenous group. Participants brainstormed options to create an ADA-compliant outdoor education lab where residents can learn about gardening and the San Leandro Creek ecosystem. Ultimately, project organizers adapted curriculum developed during the charrette in the design for a second garden site at San Leandro High School. Organizers say the gardening sites will provide hands-on experiences for students and community members to engage in watershed ecology, gardening and indigenous history.

San Francisco, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: When the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden opened in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood in 2014, it focused on serving Asian immigrant elders and filled a need for green space and fresh food. This project expanded the garden, adding 3,000 square feet of gardening space and making it the second largest urban farm in San Francisco. The additional space allowed gardeners to try new techniques -- such as row planting -- that increased the garden's yields. Additionally, organizers upgraded the garden's compost system and set up beehives to help with pollinating crops. The larger harvest allowed garden organizers to distribute four tons of produce annually to local families in needs, including culturally relevant foods such as bok choy and Chinese chives.

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