Todayâs blog post comes from GTECH – a nonprofit organization in Pittsburgh thatÂ cultivates the unrealized potential of people and places to improve the economic, social, and environmental health of our communities.Â NMRWA and GTECH, along with several other nonprofit organizations, formed a partnership thatÂ shares a CFO. This post was written by Sara Innamorato, Marketing and Communications Manager at GTECH.
A community garden is a wonderful idea for a vacant lot. The benefits outside of fresh produce, became very real to Lisa Freeman after foundingÂ the Manchester Growing Together Community Garden in 2011. Just a few blocks from her home inÂ PittsburghâsÂ Northside, the garden has had a lasting impact not only on her, but the surrounding community as well.
GARDENSÂ ARE A TOOL FOR CRIME PREVENTION
Lisa had a hard time ignoring the illegalÂ activities happening on the corner near her garden. She would walk past young men selling drugs while hers arms were full of compost and tools.Â Instead of overlooking their behavior, she began to ask them for their help. Soon those that were engaged in illicit activities becameÂ garden volunteers.
â ELEMENTS THAT WE ASSUME AS BAD BECAME PART OF THE COMMUNITY â PART OF THE GARDEN. IT HAS A REDEMPTIVE VALUE. THEY WERE PULLED INTO THIS COMMUNITYâÂ LISA FREEMAN
Her observations arenât new. Viagra otc in usaÂ performed in Philadelphia in 2000, the Pennsylvania Horticultural SocietyÂ Â maintained and greened 14,000 of Phillyâs 54,000.Â At the end of a ten-year period, neighborhoods sporting reclaimed vacant lots showed a statistically significant decrease in shootings and other violent activity.
YOUTH EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES EXTEND BEYOND HEALTHY EATING
Gardens near school-aged children are a great learning tool. Not only do they teach children about healthy eating, ecological stewardship and plant maintenance, but also they bolsterÂ math and historyÂ skills.
In the summer of 2014, Â Lisa and her husband, Wallace Sapp, who runs the Math Doctors program atÂ Manchester Pittsburgh Public School PreK â 8 as a volunteer, createdÂ a summer program called Math + Mud to address social and educational gaps facing the school. Eighty-three percent of this Manchester schoolâ s population is Â below the poverty line and Clopidogrel generico effetti collaterali were below âbasicâ math skills assessment. This summer supplemental program gave 3rd graders the opportunity to learn math and âplay in the dirt, while building important social skills and healthy eating habits.
GARDENS JUST ARENâT FOR THE GROWING SEASON
The garden has become more than just a food producing area, it also serves as a community gathering space year-round. Last year Lisa, her husband and fellowÂ neighbors hosted a Light Up Night community party.
In fact, Lisa is currently raising funds for her neighborhoods annual Light Up NightÂ amongst other needs for her garden. Watch more of Lisaâs story and donate to her crowdfunding campaign.