Starting in the 2013 growing season, Weld Food Bank (WFB) will be partnering with Alternative Homes for Youth (AHFY) to build a community garden, named the Victory Garden. The garden’s mission is to teach self-reliance, build relationships, and grow fresh, whole foods for our community. The garden is located at 1110 M Street, with access to the public located on a gravel parking lot, directly South of M. Street off of the West side of 11th Avenue. Total plant-able area will be around 5,000 square feet—including 12 wheel-chair accessible raised beds, in ground beds, and a fruit orchard, maintained by Alternative Homes youth and Weld Food Bank volunteers. The garden will provide new and exciting opportunities for fresh food, physical activity, and life skills building for the residents of AHFY. Likewise, fresh produce will be supplied to Weld Food Bank clients. There will be many chances for volunteer involvement in the building and growing process.
Alternative Homes for Youth specializes in transforming the effects of trauma, neglect, and abuse in the lives of adolescents. They provide therapy, support, and housing for at-risk youth. Their commitment is to respond to the needs of the community and their clients by integrating current research to create individualized treatment plans and multi-modal treatment approaches which are adaptive, vital, and effective.
The newest of projects for AHFY is to provide horticultural therapy, culinary training, and as a result more fresh foods for their youth, through the support of WFB and our shared garden. Based on prior research studies, these projects are expected to provide the youth with new skills, increased self-awareness, empathy, patience, trust, and a way to give back, thus becoming more connected with the community they will soon be re-integrated into.
For more information about Alternative Homes for Youth, please visit: www.alternativehomesforyouth.org or call 970-353-6010
There are many opportunities to get involved in this exciting project.
Some volunteer opportunities include, but are not limited to:
- Building projects
- Gate/fence installation
- Soil preparation and soil amendment
- Planting, transplanting, watering, weeding, and mulching
- Starting seedlings
- Special event/workshop support
- Any other garden projects that arise
We will cater to various groups and volunteers and work with you to figure out some projects that are within your physical ability and interest. Additional opportunities are available for dedicated lead volunteers to guide and train WFB garden support volunteers and provide training to AHFY youth, after passing the AHFY volunteer screening process. These volunteers must possess a good attitude, be comfortable in a leadership position, be hard workers, and preferably have gardening experience.
All volunteers will have support and any necessary guidance from WFB staff. This project is a chance to really dig your hands in, help jump-start recovery in youth, and provide food for hungry in Weld County. Please consider joining us for this exciting and transformative project!
There are opportunities to schedule group work days and educational workshops in the garden as well. The workshops will include brief orientation of the garden, necessary instruction and background, as well as the chance to get your hands dirty! We can accommodate various populations and group sizes, and make classes geared towards your interests, with enough notice.
If you don’t have time to give, but want to support the garden through a donation, please contact the Weld Food Bank with your interest, and we can provide you with more information. We have big dreams, and would love your support to make the garden as big and beautiful as we imagine it to be!
For more information contact Gina at 970-356-2199 x 323 or [email protected]