Thursday, August 20 2009
The Glenwood Community Garden and Wetlands Project got a financial boost Saturday when the Alcoa Foundation donated $15,000 to the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. Foundation.
Led by Mike Shoulders from VPS Architecture and the "Clean and Green" committee, the Glenwood Community Garden and Wetlands project is part of the larger Glenwood Community Development Initiative to "develop and implement a comprehensive neighborhood stabilization and improvement plan reaching beyond housing."
The community garden and construction of the wetlands will be used as a teaching tool and are part of a broader focus on housing and financial investment to address root social issues of urban blight and neighborhood deterio-ration.
Excitedto add support
"The Alcoa Foundation is excited about being able to add its support to such a broad-based, community-focused program that will positively influence the education of children while focusing on sustainability," said Jim Beck, communications and public affairs leader at Alcoa Warrick Operations.
"It's exciting how so many have already invested so much in this project."
"One of our goals for this project is to encourage a true sense of community among the Glenwood neighborhood residents," Shoulders said. "We hope the residents in the neighborhood will have a vested interest in maintaining the gardens and wetlands as a gathering place as well as a source of healthy food.
"We also want to educate both students and parents about plant care, organic gardening, and preparation of fresh food for healthy eating and local conservation efforts."
The first Glenwood Community Garden was planted this summer on the Glenwood Middle School property. The organic garden is about 65 feet by 85 feet and contains a small flower and herb garden, plus plantings of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, green beans, red and green peppers.
The first harvest will be distributed to area residents to promote healthy eating and conservation with locally grown produce.
The $15,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation will help with the distribution, as well as provide small grants of $600 to science teachers at Glenwood to develop curriculum and provide supplies for the research needed to further the progress of the garden and the wetlands, which also are near the school.
Approximately $5,000 would be used to research and develop the gardens and wetlands with appropriate, self-propagating and low maintenance plants, structures and signage. Another $5,000 would be used for materials, seed, fertilizer, tools, distribution baskets, bundling and other things related to the garden and wetlands.
Many organizations have worked with Glenwood residents since the fall of 2008 to create a shared strategy for neighborhood improvement. They include the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp., EVSC Foundation, Glenwood Neighborhood Association, Habitat for Humanity, Keep Evansville Beautiful, Leadership Evansville, Morning Rotary Club, Welborn Baptist Foundation, Evansville Housing Authority, City of Evansville, Crossroads Christian Church and other churches in the Glenwood neighbor-hood.