Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Partners,
We want to express our appreciation to all of you who have contributed to the success of the one-year USDA project.
Because of our collaborative efforts, we have hosted 114 demonstration and workday in gardens and greenhouses over a 12-month period, despite a raging pandemic that hampered our efforts and presented many challenges. We have provided our growers with 13 new chicken coops, 76 new garden beds, 25 new beehives, and 100 shiitake mushroom logs for their continued local urban farming efforts. We have provided entrepreneur farmers with more than 150 egg-laying chickens and ducks. We have delivered many pounds of fresh local food to 8 food pantries on multiple occasions. We have built 4 new greenhouses and refurbished or managed 3 greenhouses for shared space among network of growers. That network has grown in 2020-21 from 43 to more than 240.
We have strengthened existing partnerships and developed 27 new garden partnerships at community centers, schools, houses of worship, and urban plots.
We held an old-fashioned soap-making day and shared health kits with our homeless neighbors who live near our gardens. We provided countless garden tools, irrigation system components, seedlings, loads of soil, and mulch.
Our partners include the following.
Partners: Arkansas Community Foundation, Interfaith Arkansas, Network of Growers (Central Arkansas), The Van (Pulaski County), University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Amboy United Methodist Church Garden (North Little Rock), Amboy Elementary School Garden (North Little Rock), Rose City Urban Farm (North Little Rock), Fit2Live (North Little Rock), Ellen Smith Elementary School Garden (Conway), First Presbyterian Church Garden (Conway), Interfaith Power and Light at the national level
Little Rock Partners: Second Presbyterian Church, Islamic Center for Human Excellence Garden, Hillary Clinton Children’s Public Library and Greenhouse, No Closed Doors Community Youth Group, The Village Place Community Garden, The Dream Center Garden, Azalea Neighborhood Garden, Greater Christ Temple Pentecostal Church Promise Garden, Woodruff Neighborhood Garden, Oak Forest Neighborhood Garden, Dunbar Junior High Garden, Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center, Booker Elementary School Garden, PATH (Physicians Against Trafficking Humans), OK Project (Little Rock Police and Pastor Mentors), El Zocalo Hispanic Resource Center Garden, Hope Rises Garden (for previously incarcerated women), Crump Neighborhood Garden, East Second St. Garden, Pulaski Heights Elementary School Garden, Kurtis Priebe’s Urban Orchard & Greenhouse, and many more.
Five college students completed formal internships with us.
A total of 53 students from five colleges (Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing Pharmacy, and Public Health) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) have been involved in 1) classes related to urban agriculture, personal health, and health of the planet plus; 2) volunteer activities at gardens and demonstration days; 3) creating educational material and recipe guides, 4) interviewing gardeners, 5) creating garden safety videos, 6) community building, and more. One UAMS College of Public Health graduate student completed her Applied Practice Experience testing garden soil and providing custom recommendations to growers about how to amend their soil to produce more and better food. Another UAMS College of Public Health is helping the network of growers communicate about and plan for farm stands in neighborhoods as her Applied Practice Experience.
“Climate Reality” and “Kiss the Ground” presentations and discussions were provided to hundreds of interested individuals throughout the USA on 12 occasions involving houses of worship, universities, and agriculturists. Ark. IPL worked with IPL National and the filmmakers of “Kiss the Ground” to enable more than 14,000 people to view this important documentary about the role that regenerative agriculture can play in solving the climate crisis.
Additionally we worked with Arkansas Girl Scouts on three occasions on projects related to pollinators, local food, and sustainability for the planet.
Also Ark. IPL has been invited to be part of a “select group of leaders” to participate in the annual 24 Hours of Reality (Climate Reality) inspirational video to run during 24 Hours of Reality (Oct. 29) and to share with global leaders at the UN’s COP 26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland in November.
Thank you for your commitments to your neighbors and to development of the local urban agriculture infrastructure.
Terry Tremwel, AIPL Chairman
Jimmy Parks, Garden Manager
Scharmel Roussel, Grant Manager
Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light