Green Reentry Opportunities (GRO) Marion
Green reentry Opportunities (GRO) is adding a new garden in Marion, Illinois in addition to the four organic gardens established in 2012. The new garden will establish 10,000 square foot community garden with 100, 4’x 8’raised beds. GRO has implemented a method of organic gardening/farming called Square Foot Gardening building from recycled materials 51, 2’x8 raised beds with 10 low tunnel hoop houses; extending our growing season into the winter and early spring. The new garden will put 30 returning citizens, volunteers and at-risk youth to work growing and maintaining five community gardens and provide a significant way to give back to the community. Returning citizens work with churches and community organizations to grow and maintain community gardens for the benefit of local food programs. The program not only benefits the participants’ senses of self-worth, but also provides much-needed produce for area soup kitchens. In 2012 GRO’s harvested organic vegetables has helped to feed our returning citizens their families and other families in need through the areas local feeding program at the Marion Ministerial Alliance it is providing home cooked meals to the adult and youth transitional housing programs. Last growing season (2012), the harvest has helped to feed over 10,000 people in conjunction with the Marion Ministerial Alliance Soup Kitchen. We estimate the future harvest to be over 2,000 pounds and has the potential to touch the lives of an additional 10,000 through the Ministerial Alliance in the Herrin communities Herrin House of Hope food pantry/soup kitchen.
GRO will explore the construction of functioning greenhouses at some or all of the sites and to establish new community gardens with the possibility of acquiring acreage with a pond for an aquaponic and establishing an aquaculture component to the program that would see returning prisoners raising fish as well as produce.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
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Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA