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Community Gardening But So Much More

A program that helps bring people together while working in the environment through gardening and cooking for the welfare of others.

Photo of Felicia
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The basis of the project idea is a community garden program that also incorporates cooking and food distribution directed towards low-income individuals. The program is an adaptable outline that can be used to help start similar programs in different locations throughout the world. The program will be directed primarily at children ages 10 and up, but people of all ages are welcome to participate. Their jobs vary from helping to tend to the garden as well as throwing together prepared meals and distributing it to the impoverished. Kids don't go outside as much as they used to, but is healthy to breathe in the fresh air and going outside to garden encourages such. The program is primarily directed to children because they play a fundamental role in society. Their childhood plays an important role in one’s life as well. Gardening has also proven to increase mental health and lower levels of depression. This program will require people to communicate and work with people of different social statuses in order to accomplish the goal of caring for both the environment and one another. Growing food in a garden helps the environment in terms global warming and discourages the use of pesticides in produce. The requirements for starting the program is to have a plot of land to plant and an area to turn the raw ingredients into a healthy meal. The program would also offer a starter kit that comes with seeds other supplements to easily get started.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

This project would benefit both the low-income people and children who need an escape from whatever problem that may be troubling them. For example, instead of using alcohol or drugs, participating in this program could be an alternative. Gardening or simply having something to do can be relaxing to people. It can be a form of therapy. More often than not, doing volunteer work gives you a sense of accomplishment from helping others in need. Low-income families could benefit from receiving produce or meals free of charge. That way they would not have to worry as much about receiving food, a necessity for life.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

What makes this idea different is that it brought the idea of community gardens and food distributions together in order to make the impact on the community even greater. This program intends to reach out to all groups of people to help connect people all while aiding the environment and a population in need. Growing and maintaining an organic garden also provides opportunities to educate those in the program about the benefits of organic and pesticide-free foods. We also like to target the use of gardening as a type of therapy as well.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

The organization aims to help communities connect with one another and help the environment through a gardening and food distribution program. I am currently a student in an environmental science class and attached is a blog documenting some of the work we have done and learned about.

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years

Organization Filing Status

  • No, but we plan to register in the future.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

This year in class we studied many topics concerning the environment, in one unit we actually started gardening. I actually really enjoy gardening because for me it is really fun and rewarding when I get to eat the food I grow and I want to share the experience with others. Recently I have also volunteered in food distribution program so I decided why not connect the two ideas of gardening and food distribution together.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Differences can often lead to disagreements, however, people can learn to get along with each other and interact with people of different social classes, races and more. The program provides an opportunity for just that. Many locations may already have the adequate resources to start a garden, but not enough people are participating. This program may help jumpstart the use of the garden. Providing food and resources helps with the prosperity of a community. As for planet, the environment has greatly suffered the from the actions of humans, especially over the last few decades. Global warming and pollution are the main causes of the degradation of the world’s ecosystems and environment. Even though planting a garden may seem small, an organic farm that doesn’t use pesticides or GMOs helps with pollution and global warming as well as open up opportunities to educate the public on the state of the climate and more.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

This is a basic program designed to branch out to different areas of the world, in order for that to happen there needs to be people around the world willing to spend the time to piece everything together. There would need to be a person or group of people willing to start up the program and to lead it, this outline is to guide them on how to get started. If successful in the area, children of all ages will come together and participate, and could learn about the state of the environment in a hands-on experience working in the garden all while benefiting both the Earth and their very own communities.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Areas with large populations are bound to have a people on both ends of the spectrum in terms of poverty. Not all areas have access to educational programs that teach children about the environment and Earth. Areas with high poverty rates could benefit from the food distributions and further bridging between social classes. Areas around schools or large recreational areas would be ideal because there are often many people who visit those centers.

Geographic Focus

This program works in any location worldwide, provided that there is space for a garden.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

It varies on the area. I would say give or take 6 months since the start of the program. There needs to be time to set up the first garden and plant the first crops. Depending on the crop and the conditions the crop could be ready to harvest in 3-5 months. After that, it would just evolve into a cycle of planting and distributing.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of Luz Gallo

Hi Felicia,
I love gardening too and I think it has a lot of potential to be a bridgbuilder. However, Have you consider to landed on an specific community in order to characterized the participants and how they can work together to make it sustainable?

Photo of My Nguyen

Felicia, I love that you liked gardening so much that you centered your idea around it! Yes, there is a lot of research that supports the benefits of gardening and the benefits of having plants where you live. Not only do they remove toxins from the atmosphere they also are carbon sinks! I love that you open the program to a broad community where people can meet others, learn from others, and possibly learn about each others differences to better understand each other. The idea of a kit or a replicable model is great and can be easier to implement than having to go to a specific garden. When dealing with lower income groups you may want to consider a program that continually replenishes supplies to keep the program going.

Photo of Madeleine So20

This is a great idea! I like how you focus on bringing people together and allowing children of all ages to get involved, especially how you put emphasis on the impact that the next generation will have on our world. I understand that this is just an outline of your idea, but some questions to think about are about the specific location that you will start the program in. What space will be used to grow the food? Will it be a permanent location? Perhaps you could start a small greenhouse, like you said, near schools or large recreational areas that participants can regularly visit. Also, it would be nice if you could narrow your target group down to a specific group affected by poverty before carrying out the idea. Good job and good luck!

Photo of Victoria Nicolson

Love your idea! I really like how you are aiming your target group at children since they are future and are vital in society. You did a really nice job with your prototype of the garden and the nice infographic to go along with it. I really like how you are using your idea to help the impoverished, help kids get outside, and also as a therapy tool. Have you considered which specific neighborhood you want to target (i.e. San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc..)? Maybe expand on who/where your target group is specifically instead of generally. Overall, really nice idea!

Photo of Ilona Kozlovsky

Hey Felicia,
love your idea very much!

I understand the motivation behind it, and at the same time think, should this not be the norm?

My idea comes from the same standpoint, but at the same time, I always feel that these initiatives, although they make a difference and I am supporting them, seem to show an absurd paradox, that we are living in a world where we teach ourselves and our kids something that actually comes to us naturally - compassion, connection to nature, etc.

If you also feel that way, please feel free to contributing to my idea, I welcome all feedback and support. And let me know if you'll run your project in London (UK), have some experience in similar projects and could help.