Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ULI volunteer day and Greenleaf social event

Join your fellow Urban Land Institute (ULI) Young Leaders on Thursday, October 21 for a great community outreach project – help plant perennials at Denver’s new Sustainability Park. 2501 Arapahoe St. in the Curtis Park neighborhood.

DHA has offered ULI the opportunity to work alongside the Curtis Park community to transplant perennials from DHA's Westwood Homes rehab project. So bring your work clothes and get ready to get your hands dirty! 50 volunteers are needed - so bring a friend!

The event will kick off with a presentation where you will have the opportunity to learn about the work of the Denver Housing Authority (DHA), the Urban Farmers Collaborative and Colorado Renewable Energy Society. The volunteer event begins at 3:00 and work will continue until 5:00.

After the community service project is complete, attendees will walk to GreenSpaces for a complimentary social where donations may be accepted to benefit GreenLeaf. If you can't make it to the volunteer event feel free to stop by Greenspaces to meet local ecoprenuers, ULI young leaders and learn more about Denver's new Urban Sustainability Park.

the sustainability park - designs

Jaime Miller and Bridgette Kerr are the two architects and designers responsible for the creation of such a beautifully designed park that accommodates the needs of the farmers, DHA and the Colorado Renewable Energy Society. They have dutifully documented the discussions we've had together and provided wonderful pictures and mock-ups of what we hope the finished project will look like at 25th and Arapahoe.

Check out their insights, writings and ramblings here. Don't skip the link or you'll miss out on valuable information regarding shipping container redesign, zoning regulations impact on urban farming and upcoming events.

The Urban Farmer's Collaborative

The Urban Farmer's Collaborative was formed in the winter of 2009 and consists of Greenleaf, Granata Farms and Produce Denver. Through the Denver Housing Authority the Urban Farmer's Collaborative has been given the opportunity to farm and distribute produce in the heart of the city.

Denver Housing Authority (DHA) is using 2.4 acres it owns in the Curtis Park neighborhood to demonstrate today’s most cutting edge sustainability practices in an urban setting. The focus of the Sustainability Park is on renewable energy, energy efficiency, local food production, water management, and developing quantifiable metrics for these new cutting edge sustainability products/practices. With the help of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society and the Urban Farmer's Collaborative, DHA hopes to move beyond the rhetoric of sustainability and provide a community space for local organizations to showcase sustainability in action.

Greenleaf is a Denver non-profit focused on empowering youth through urban agriculture. We believe in the power of employment and hire youth to farm in the city, selling the produce that we grow in neighborhoods with limited access to healthy food. All of our youth hold leadership positions and through guided education the students chose the layout of our farms, the produce that will be grown, determine the marketing and sale of produce, canvass neighborhoods and educate other youth about the importance of healthy eating. Greenleaf runs a for credit elective class at the Denver Venture School and currently employes sixteen youth from throughout the Denver Metro Area.

Granata Farms is Elaine Granata's family farming operation which operates in the core of the city, less than a half mile from Denver's urban center, using an approach that has become known as SPIN (small plot intensive). Granata Farms has a CSA, and sells to local restaurants and speciality markets in the immediate vicinity of their farms. Though not certified, they follow all the national standards for organic production. They support a non-profit restaurant that feeds the hungry by discounting their purchases and asking our CSA members and other customers to also make a donation of 10% of that restaurant's purchases from the farm. Check our Elaine's produce at Marzyck's Market in uptown and walk across the street for a view into one of her farms.

Produce Denver is a company that is focused on edible landscaping. They will operate alongside Greenleaf and Granata Farms with a fruit tree nursery, a hoop house and compost and mulching services.