The Westmoreland Garden Project
The Westmoreland Garden Project is part of Community Gardens Connections (CGC), housed at Antioch University New England (AUNE). Established in 2011, CGC builds local capacity to grow food and address issues of food security, communal health, and resiliency, while sustainably caring for the land. Since 2011, CGC established 50+ raised garden beds throughout Keene, NH in partnership with local social service agencies. Over the past two growing seasons--in collaboration with Cheshire County--CGC staff expanded programming to revitalize The Westmoreland Garden Project, which was an abandoned 1-acre garden plot adjacent to the old county jail site. We were able to plant, tend, harvest over 3000 lbs of produce for the local food bank in 2013-2014. The primary goals of CGC's Westmoreland Garden project are to:
1) engage community and student volunteers in planting, tending and harvesting produce; through "work parties", workshops, and other educational opportunities at the garden site.
2) increase donations of produce to social service agencies throughout the community and local food bank.
As the umbrella program, CGC is committed to fostering access and interest in healthy food and environment by:
- Increasing access to healthy, affordable foods and thereby increase community food security
- Contributing to the City of Keene’s goals for addressing climate change by increasing food security
- Building community members’ capacity to grow and cook healthy, affordable food and benefit community members’ physical and psychological health through gardening
- Creating opportunities for AUNE students and faculty to engage in service-learning and applied research projects related to agriculture and sustainability that support community-identified priorities
- Fostering a stronger sense of community through the creation of green, communal spaces.
In the coming years we will continue in these efforts and implement new projects to further our food access efforts, including management of the Westmoreland Garden Project.
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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