PROGRAMS


Community Garden Creation and Support

Let’s Grow Akron is currently supporting over 40 community gardens including the management of Akron Grows, the city of Akron’s community garden program. Nearly half of the gardens maintained produce food for neighborhood food pantries and community meals, including Salvation Army, Catholic Worker, Peter Maurin Center and Miller Avenue United Church of Christ.  ( back to top )

Before

After

Harvest of Hope Children’s Community Garden Program & Young Urban Farmers Markets

The Harvest of Hope Children's Community Garden and Young Urban Farmer's Markets have expanded to two sites where children ages 6 through 17 learn to grow, market and sell fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers at a weekly farm market stand they create. This literature based program is offered six days a week for ten weeks. Each week a theme determines the garden lesson, books read to and by the children, crafts, snacks and games. A dietitian provides weekly nutrition lessons and children are inspired by visiting artists and experts on healthy food and lifestyle choices, agriculture, environmental science and stewardship, character and community building. Children complete time sheets and each child receives a paycheck from the profits at the end of the growing season according to the number of hours worked in the garden.  ( back to top )



Intergenerational Community Gardens

The Intergenerational Community Gardens program allows senior and disabled residents of the Saferstein Towers to interact and be assisted by families with children in the neighborhood. Families here benefit from the experience and expertise of elder gardeners while providing any necessary assistance to those with physical limitations. A similar intergenerational garden relationship also exists between the Marion T. Hall Senior Building Garden at Edgewood Village and the new Harvest of Hope Children’s Community Garden site at V. Odom Blvd. and Fern Street. Let’s Grow Akron and seniors living at Edgewood Village to create a raised bed garden that includes a traditional raised bed, a wheelchair accessible bed and an elevated bed that can be worked while standing for those that have difficulty bending. Gardeners here have a range of gardening experiences that they are eager to increase and share with children and teens living in the neighborhood. Seniors have the opportunity to volunteer at the nearby Harvest of Hope Children’s Garden and benefit from the presenters and field trips. The children are able to assist the seniors with weeding, watering and harvesting. Young and old benefit from newly formed friendships, physical outdoor activity and the rewarding experience of growing food and building community.  ( back to top )

Healthy Foods Preparation and Preservation Community Education Program

The Healthy Foods Preparation and Preservation Community Education Program promotes increased consumption of plant based foods and improved health and wellness through food production, healthy meal planning and preparation and the preservation of fresh garden produce. Classes and demonstrations are offered to children’s program participants and their families as well as community and back yard gardeners in the neighborhoods served by Let’s Grow Akron. Participants learn the importance of growing and eating fruits and vegetables, how to prepare and to preserve them through cooking classes and demonstrations and preservation classes that teach canning, freezing and dehydrating methods. Production gardens provide produce to prepare and preserve as well as to donate to individuals and families unable to grow their own, local food pantries and soup kitchens.  ( back to top )




Pump House Urban Agriculture Center

The Pump House Urban Agriculture Center is located on Summit Lake adjacent to the Summit Lake Apartments and the Towpath. Residents and Towpath users are invited to experience the herb and flower gardens, a chicken coop that houses ten egg laying hens, a community garden for AMHA residents, high tunnel for season extension practices and a community compost system. Collaboration between Let's Grow Akron, the City of Akron, AMHA and Akron Summit Community Action transformed this unique piece of property previously used for industrial practices that were detrimental to the environment into a lively and productive green space used for food production, urban agriculture demonstration and community events.  ( back to top )


Community Composting Cooperative and Worm Farm

The Community Composting Cooperative and Worm Farm includes four compost demonstration sites and a worm farm for the purpose of creating compost and vermicompost to be used in community gardens. Household food waste, weeds and plant materials are combined with food waste collected from Robek’s Juice and Smoothies, coffee grounds from Nervous Dog, spent brewing grains from Trailhead Brewery, chicken waste, shredded leaves and paper that would otherwise go to a landfill. These materials are combined intentionally to create compost for improving soil conditions and consequently more productive plants that yield greater amounts of nutritionally dense foods. Promoting community composting decreases the amount of garbage being sent to overloaded landfills, improves urban soil and promotes the sustainability of community and back yard gardens.  ( back to top )


Urban Honey Bee Project

The Urban Honey Project promotes a sustainable bee population in Northeastern Ohio in addition to providing a healthy sugar alternative to food deserts in urban areas. We believe the symbiotic nature of beekeeping can achieve both goals through partnerships, education and community outreach. Education includes general beekeeping, hive management with an overall theme of improving pollinator habitat, and general community education about honey bees and other important pollinators. Laura Urban of Urban Honey Bee provides instruction and assistance to those interested in placing hives in community gardens or learning responsible beekeeping in the city environment.
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