Little Rock Summer of Solutions-12th and Oak Garden
The 12th and Oak Garden provides fresh produce, space for community engagement, and education for neighborhood residents and youth. The 12th and Oak Garden is part of Village Commons’ Healthy Foods Initiative, which is supported by a full-time Arkansas GardenCorps Service Member. It serves as a combination teaching garden and high-yield urban farm model. The site is located across from a community center in the heart of the 12th Street neighborhood and utilizes land owned by Theressa Hoover United Methodist Church. The project benefits low- and moderate-income residents of the 12th Street area--a food desert with limited access to fresh produce-- as well as youth from the greater Little Rock area.
In the summer of 2013, the 12th and Oak Garden was the main training site for the youth program, Little Rock Summer of Solutions. During the summer, the garden was maintained by the Summer of Solutions participants, who helped to create a vibrant space for youth and community members to learn about gardening. The program participants hosted several service-learning days for local children, at-risk youth and community members throughout the summer. The produce from the garden was used in community dinners hosted weekly by program participants and given to volunteers and donors.
Next summer, a new team of participants will help maintain the garden with the help of our year-round GardenCorps Service Member. The garden will continue to serve as a dual purpose education and production garden. Participants will sell the produce at a local farm stand, in addition to using the produce for community events and providing a share to volunteers. We will also continue growing our educational programming. Starting in the spring, our GardenCorps Service Member will host school-aged children at the 12th St. and Oak Garden for garden education, after school care, and summer fun.
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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