Inspired by the Victory Garden Initiative in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the idea that a massive mobilization is necessary to build resilient local food systems and the health of our ecosystems, volunteers will build and install 159 raised beds in yards throughout the community.
Berea has a 30% poverty rate, and 75% of students have free or reduced lunch. Sustainable Berea makes garden beds accessible to those who need them most: each bed costs $100 to build, install, and fill with soil, but because of donations and sponsorships, the Blitz this year can provide 83% of its beds on a sliding scale ranging from $25-75.
In addition, Sustainable Berea is partnering with the local library to offer monthly gardening workshops to support new gardeners.
Collaboration is key to the program’s success. Last year 108 volunteers built and installed 132 garden beds, and this year Blitz Co-Director Abby Adams anticipates 120 volunteers will participate. Partnerships with local groupsand sponsorships from individuals and area businesses strengthen community ties and make it possible to mobilize the needed financial and in-kind resources.
Sustainable Berea, in partnership with Novelis Aluminum, is also offering four Mini-Grants this year, where recipients are awarded $250-500 for projects that increase neighborhood resilience.
Photos courtesy of Sustainable Berea