River Valley Community Garden
Location: River Valley Towns – (Andover, Bryon, Canton, Dixfield, Hanover, Mexico, Peru, Roxbury, Rumford, Carthage)
Project Team: Lanette Bryant
The River Valley Community Garden is an idea that I have had since I began to understand how crucial fresh food is, specifically for young children and families. The RVCG is a work in progress, however with adequate funding it will become a reality. Although not much work as been done, I am excited to create publicity and funding for a much-needed push towards healthy fresh foods in the River Valley area. The benefits of a community garden would create healthier children and adults to make the River Valley area a much healthier place!
What challenges in your community are you addressing?
Currently the River Valley Community Garden has not begun. It is going to need funding for advertisement, and also a place to create a garden! Which would take a land plot that would have to be donated to the cause. But if adequate funding can be obtained, The River Valley Community Garden would be able to feed families who cannot afford fresh fruits and vegetables. Although The River Valley Community Garden would not be intended for ONLY young people, it’s main focus would be to see that young children are educated about farm fresh foods.
Eventually, after the program began to grow, I would hope to have an alliance with the local school systems to allow at-risk students a place to “hang out” after school, this could also be a place where students served their suspensions and detentions. Also, volunteer work could be counted towards community service credits, which most seniors must obtain before graduating. My hopes would be that the entire community could pitch in and create a more sustainable life for all in he River Valley towns. My high hopes after the garden would be to create classes for the public to take- On healthy snacks, exercise and eventually move on to teach community members to weatherize their own homes.
Who will benefit from your idea? How will people access and learn about the work you are doing?
Currently, Oxford County is the most over weight County in the state of Maine. This is not only an issue of exercising, but also the real issue that children aren’t eating fresh fruit and vegetables because their parents are working 1-3 jobs each. The River Valley Community Garden would allow parents who normally couldn’t afford fresh foods to obtain fresh foods with little to no expense. Other issues include: funding, volunteers, experienced people in non-profit areas.
What major success would you like to see at the end or apex of your project?
Any family in Oxford County that is looking for assistance in healthy eating habits as well as families who can’t afford groceries. Folks who are excited to learn about healthy organic gardening would be able to volunteer to learn more.
Any thing else you’d like us to know?
Less obesity in schools, healthy fresh food for children who have busy parents and an increased knowledge of fresh foods.