Source of Vigour – Wasatch Community Gardens

Finding a Local Source of Vigour: Wasatch Community Gardens

  • Mission Statement: To empower people of all ages and incomes to grow and eat healthy, organic, local food.
  • Vision: We envision an inclusive, robust and vibrant community that is nourished by healthy and affordable food.
  • Objective: To aid in the development of community, sharing, and stewardship in the Salt Lake City area by creating locally grown, organic food through programs.
  • Programs:
    • Community Garden Program – Areas of land that are available for garden plot purchasing, prices include water, land, soil, and basic garden tending from volunteers.  Numerous around the city.
    • Youth Garden Program – For kids, aged 4-12, to engage in creative, outdoor, productive experiments with nature through their teaching gardens.  Includes summer camps, the Youth Garden Club, School Field Trips, and Group Trips.
    • School Garden Program – Promotes school gardens as an educational tool by providing assistance to teachers and administrators who are trying to implement a program at their school.  Provides curriculum, field trips, online resources, and volunteer opportunities.  Goal is to get as many local schools involved in having a school garden.  Helps with the upstart and the maintenance of school gardens.
    • Community Education Program – Workshops happen often and cover a variety of topics to help educate the community on farming, organic food, healthy eating, and cooking.  Hands-on learning opportunities are provided with opportunities for scholarships on class tuition.  Classes are for novices and advanced gardeners and even cover chicken keeping!
    • the GREEN TEAM Farm – a 10 month program that revitalizes underutilized land around the city and provides opportunities for women experiencing homelessness.  Some of the goals of the program are as follows:
      • “Provide employment and job training for women currently experiencing homelessness in Salt Lake City.
      • Provide financial and life skills training for women currently experiencing homelessness.
      • Increase healthy food access for low-income children in the Salt Lake City School District.
      • Create a vibrant community space and increase community involvement by revitalizing this underutilized urban area.” (WCG, 2018)

In order to best understand Wasatch Community Gardens, I interviewed a dear friend of mine, Natasha Crespi, who has worked with this program for about a year now.  She discussed the purpose of this organization and all of the ways it contributes to a sustainable future for Salt Lake City.  The program is designed around maintaining and creating community surrounding the food we all eat and share.  This is an essential part of establishing sustainability within a city because our cultural investment in individualistic attitudes and individually based successes.

After learning about Wasatch Community Gardens, I immediately felt as though it was designed to promote and sustain a healthy influence on our Salt Lake City community.  By providing a space where economic inequalities, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability become a popular topic while engaging youth and adults alike in outdoor experiences, Wasatch Community Gardens goes above and beyond in their efforts towards a “greener” future.  This is why I believe Wasatch Community Gardens is a source of vigour as it combines unique ideas to create a platform for a sustainable life in the area.

Resources:

  1. Garden Curriculum Guide
  2. Composting Guide
  3. Additional Resources and Guides
  4. An Interview with Ashley Patterson, Director of Wasatch Community Gardens
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