CGC Chooses Sites for Community Gardens

Partnerships of the Keene Housing Authority and Big Brother/Big Sisters Program, and the Keene Recreation Center and Early Sprouts Program have been selected as the two garden sites for 2011 by the Community Garden Connections (CGC) initiative.

CGC is a project developed by faculty and students in the Environmental Studies department at Antioch University New England (AUNE). It is being made possible by a $25,000 gift from the Rashti Foundation. This donation will fund a total of five community garden sites at service agencies that provide programming for children and seniors in Keene, New Hampshire.

The Keene Housing Authority and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program will work with AUNE student coordinators to develop gardens on Castle Street in Keene for use by Keene Housing Authority residents. The Keene Recreation Center, working with Keene State College’s Early Sprouts Program, will host raised-bed gardens on Washington Street.

The raised-bed gardens will be constructed and maintained by the collaborative efforts of the program participants, residents and volunteers from AUNE’s Environmental Studies department.

The CGC’s mission is to offer resources and skills to the program participants and residents, with a goal of having the host agencies sustain the gardens after eighteen months. Educational workshops, community events and garden training will be offered throughout the project to promote access to local, nutritious food in the Monadnock region. To start, Garden Connections workshops will be held March 12 and April 30 to offer participants skills and knowledge for constructing, maintaining and using gardens.

The CGC coordinators thank each applicant for their dedication to furthering community gardens in the Monadnock region. “Each applicant was highly competitive and has made unique contributions to assisting underserved members of our community,” said Robin Colt, AUNE graduate student and CGC co-coordinator.

The CGC is encouraging agencies to reapply next year, when it will select an additional three garden sites located at service agencies in Keene.

For more information, contact Robin Colt at rcolt@antioch.edu or phone 603.568.2694.