Grow! is an exciting initiative managed by the Environmental Justice Alliance, which arranges for the establishment and maintenance of an organic community garden on the premises of disadvantaged communities. Shelters, residential facilities, municipalities, and other organizations are welcome to apply.
EJA selects applicants who demonstrate that their community is disadvantaged economically, socially, or otherwise and can benefit from access to free, organic produce grown on-site or nearby. Numerous studies have been conducted on the effects community gardens on their surrounding neighborhoods, and have found that the presence of a community garden can be correlated to decreased crime and violence, improved family dynamics, physical and mental health, economic security, and increased community empowerment and participation.
If your organization's application is pre-selected, Grow! conducts an initial site visit to determine the location of the garden, map out utilities, determine visibility, and ensure that the garden can be feasibility constructed on the chosen site. If your application passes the initial site visit, Grow! will construct a raised bed garden on the property, prepare soil to support life, and plant viable produce items chosen by the community.
Grow! will provide regular maintenance of the garden through the help of volunteers, organic plant health care treatments, and educational courses to show residents how to care for organic potted plants of their own using household items. Events will be held periodically to celebrate the harvest, provide career counseling, educate attendees on environmental issues, and unite residents with the community at large.
Interested in having a community garden for your organization? Email your application today to JustEarthDC@gmail.com.