Lights. Water. Action!
UGROWTH and DevelopmentPosted on Wed, 10/31/2012 - 2:23pm
by Imran Battla
UGRO’s development over these past two years is very inspiring to me as the Senior Program Manager. My decision to initially move forward with this endeavor grew from two main
influences. With Retrofit A Million having great impacts through promoting energy and water conservation measures among urban communities, LRAM’s co-founder Marcus Penny, community activist Liam Rattray, and I started discussing at great length the need to explore the many alternative food systems taking root in major cities around the country and understand how urban environments can benefit from them. Then we brought the conversation to ourApplied Mentorship Program for Sustainability™ (AMPS) EcoTerns, who were excited to venture to urban agriculture sites around the city, and were so enthused that they expressed a desire to start their own community garden. It is the discussions I had with Liam and Marcus and the encouragement from our EcoTerns that sparked us to become a strategic partner with the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA) for the creation of the Urban Garden Resiliency Oasis™ (UGRO).
Since, UGRO has grown from an idea into a ¾ acre urban garden situated in the heart of West End Atlanta, and given us harvests of strawberries, muscadines, onions, watermelons, green peppers, tomatoes, corn, radish, kale, okra, and much more. It has provided us with opportunities to collaborate with Green4All, Georgia Organics, Southeast Horticulture Society, the Atlanta Local Food Initiative, Truly Living Well, Farmer D, West End Neighborhood Association partners and local faith based organizations. UGRO has transformed into a green education space to train a new generation of agtivists committed to providing fresh, healthy food available to all Atlantans, and a community development project wheremembers participate in the beautification of what was once a vacant overgrown lot. Our vision includes garden plots where modest means communities who typically have reduced access to quality produce at affordable prices, can grow and harvest their own nutritious supply, as well as learn about other Do-It-Yourself projects that are practical sustainable solutions to current issues they might face in urban settings. (i.e. rainwater capture systems to reduce high water bills)
Our UGRO initiative is committed to attracting new and seasoned urban garden practitioners to promote urban agricultural leadership, innovation, and collaboration in an effort to create and sustain a resilient Atlanta urban ecosystem, enhance local economic development, and improve the quality of life in an urban setting. Volunteers and community members continued efforts have helped to steadily increase UGRO’s visibility and crop yields. For more information about the program and to find out how you can help support UGRO, please contact Imran Battla at email@example.com