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Posts tagged ‘community garden’

Help SLC Win a $150K Grant to Revitalize the Utah Pickle Company Building

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We need your vote! Help Salt Lake City win a grant to restore a historic building, ensuring the sustainability and preservation of a great space in our community.

Salt Lake City is one of just 25 cities selected nationwide to compete, and is calling on its residents, business owners, patrons, and visitors to get behind the effort. The City has the chance to receive up to $150,000 in grant funding for the restoration of the historic Utah Pickle Company building. Built in 1894, this former pickle warehouse is located at 741 South 400 West in Salt Lake City’s Granary District, which recently received Utah’s first neighborhood business district Main Street America designation.

Restoring the Utah Pickle Company building will provide the Granary District with much-needed event space, a media production studio, flex office spaces for local artists and entrepreneurs, and a community garden!

Want to help Salt Lake City win?
1.    Go to http://www.nationalgeographic.com/voteyourmainstreet
2.    Make an account
3.    Vote for SLC (up to 5 votes per person, per day!)
4.    Login and vote each day until Oct. 31st

 

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Top: Mayor Biskupski speaks at the opening of the Liberty Wells Community Garden in 2016. A new community garden is just one of the proposed additions to the Utah Pickle Company building.  Bottom: The Utah Pickle Company building  in 1936 and today.

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Eat Local Week

Eat Local Week is quickly approaching!  The week of September 12th-19th will be filled with local food events where your participation is strongly encouraged!  A significant part of Eat Local week is the Eat Local Challenge, a fun and exciting way to get a better understanding of where your food comes from. The Challenge is simple, eat as local as you can.

What is local? Try for food within 250 miles from your home. Why?  There are a myriad of reasons.  Eating locally enhances the local economy. Every dollar spent at a locally generates $2.80 of economic activity for our community.  Supporting local farmers has a multiplier effect throughout the local economy as a whole. Local farms generate jobs for the community, farmers’ markets bring customers to surrounding businesses, and they support farmers who are likely to spend money locally on agricultural supplies. (1)  In our conventional food system, farmers receive an average of 20 cents of each dollar spent on food. In a direct-to-consumer market like a farmers’ market or CSA (community supported agriculture share), the farmer receives the direct profit. (2)

Smaller family farms are often more sustainably run than large industrial or factory farms.  “Industrial farming negatively impacts the environment in myriad ways (e.g., by polluting the air, surface water, and groundwater, over-consuming fossil fuel and water resources, degrading soil quality, inducing erosion, and accelerating the loss of biodiversity).  Many small-scale, local farms attempt to ameliorate the environmental damage done via industrial farming by focusing on sustainable practices, such as minimized pesticide use, no-till agriculture and composting, minimized transport to consumers, and minimal to no packaging for their farm products.” (1) Small farms typically grow a variety of crops, adding variation to protect biodiversity and preserve a larger agricultural gene pool. (2)  Local growers can tell you how the food was grown. There is an accountability piece with buying locally produced food, where you can talk directly to farmers and ask about sustainable practices used to grow and harvest the crops.

Fresh food and food that is in season tastes better!  Local food is often more fresh and harvested closer to peak ripeness, with packing, shipping, and shelf-life stages removed.  This contributes to quality and flavor.  On average, in the United States, food travels about 1500 miles from farm to plate.  “Fresh food tends to have more nutrients than food that was picked days or weeks ago,” says Michael Pollan, author of “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual.” (1) Enjoy Utah’s local food this Eat Local Week!

To learn more about eating locally, visit Eat Local Week Utah’s website.

(1) Grace Communications Foundation.  Local and Regional Food Systems. http://www.sustainabletable.org/254/local-regional-food-systems Accessed Sept. 2, 2015.

(2) Project Open Hand. The Benefits of Eating Locally Grown Foods. http://www.openhand.org/2011/07/20/the-benefits-of-eating-locally-grown-foods/ July 20, 2011.

Off Broadway Community Garden Celebration

Today we celebrated the opening of Salt Lake City’s newest community garden, Off Broadway Community Garden.  Media representatives and residents joined Mayor Ralph Becker, Alex Eaton of the Community Foundation of Utah, Ashley Patterson of Wasatch Community Gardens, and Abby Bluth of Off Broadway Community Garden for the celebration.

“Salt Lake City recognizes the high demand for community gardens in our downtown core, which highlights their importance in building a strong local food system,” said Mayor Becker. “The Off Broadway Community Garden project, located in a neighborhood with a two-year waiting list for garden plots, now provides 30 more city residents the opportunity to grow and enjoy fresh organic produce.”  Here’s a link to a great video of Mayor Becker’s speech!

Last year, Salt Lake City’s Green City Growers program was awarded $50,000 in grant funds to support the development of two new community gardens, including the Off Broadway Community Garden. The award included $25,000 from the Local Sustainability Matching Fund, a Partners for Places project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. The Community Foundation of Utah provided the $25,000 grant match and will manage permanent endowments.

“We are committed to sustainable nonprofits and sustainable communities, and this project is a demonstration of both,” said Alex Eaton, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Utah. “We are proud to support this project, which increases access to healthy food and strengthens our local community.”

Salt Lake City works directly with Wasatch Community Gardens and community members to develop gardens within City limits. Wasatch Community Gardens is a community-based nonprofit that has served Salt Lake County for over 25 years.

For more information on the Green City Growers Program, which provides City owned/managed land for the development of community gardens, please visit www.SLCgreen.com.

News links:

KUER News: http://kuer.org/post/slc-community-gardeners-struggle-meet-demand#stream/0

SLC Mayor’s Office: http://www.slcmayor.com/read/2015/8/24/mayor-becker-community-partners-to-announce-new-downtown-community-garden

Community Gardens

By Nicole Muehle, SLCgreen Intern

Community gardens are starting to play a more vital role in the lives of those that live in Salt Lake City. The City has eight City-owned or managed sites with the appropriate sun exposure, waterlines, and conditions to create sustainable community gardens. A high demand of community gardens downtown highlights their importance to a strong, local food system and healthy food access.  Growing food in a community garden gives those with little to no land the ability to have fresh organic produce.

One of the newest gardens, Off Broadway Community Garden, is located at 337 South 400 East. What is now a flourishing garden used to be a vacant lot!  The history of Plot 337 is unique in that it was temporarily an art exhibit, created with the knowledge that demolition would ensue.  From one art form to another, the parking lot has transformed into a vibrant and flourishing community garden.  Some of the SLCgreen interns had the privilege of getting a tour of the garden.

If you are interested in learning more or having your own plot at one of the community gardens around the city, visit our webpage.

Here are some before and after photos of the Off Broadway Community Garden.

Land Available. Farmers Wanted!

Are you a farmer looking for land?  Salt Lake County plans to contract with a qualified individual or organization to use County-owned parcels of land less than an acre each along 1100 West and north of 3300 South for small plot urban farming to provide agricultural-based economic development opportunities to a local farmer.  The bid, available here, is open until July 14th, 2015.

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Grow West Garden Fest: Free Family Event April 9 at Sorenson Unity Center

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SAVE THE DATE FOR A FREE FAMILY EVENT
Thursday, April 9 from 6-8 p.m. at the Sorenson Unity Center

The Grow West Garden Fest invites the public to learn about health, nutrition, and gardening resources available to westside Salt Lake City neighborhoods. These resources include community gardens, school gardens, workshops, youth activities, and organizations & businesses that support gardening practices. For attendees who participate in event activities, free food will be served by El Ranchero Chido, a local taco cart.

For more information, visit wasatchgardens.org or check out the Facebook event page.

SLCgreen Highlights from 2014

Happy New Year! It’s been a busy year for the Salt Lake City Green team, and we look forward to an exciting 2015 with your ongoing support. Since we’re in a reflective mood, take a look at some of our highlights from 2014.

Climate Task Force

We started the year with Mayor Ralph Becker’s appointment to the White House’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Both Mayor Becker and Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett attended a series of round tables throughout the year, which culminated in the presentation of recommendations to the President in Washington D.C.

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Project Skyline

In May, Salt Lake City hosted EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for a historic visit. In addition to a round table discussion with key partners, Administrator McCarthy joined Mayor Becker to kick off Project Skyline and the Mayor’s Skyline Challenge, a new initiative to curb energy waste from our city’s commercial buildings. SLCgov.com/ProjectSkyline

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SmartTrips Sugar House

During the summer, we kicked off a new year of SmartTrips in the Sugar House/S-Line neighborhood. The program focused on encouraging residents to walk, bike and take public transit to reduce their vehicle trips and impact on air quality. It was a great success! Over 500 households participated, increasing their alternative transit trips by 46% during the height of the program. SmartTripsSLC.com

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SLC Goes Solar

In June, we flipped the switch on Salt Lake City’s new solar farm. The farm produces 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually for our net zero Public Safety Building. We also celebrated two other important solar projects at the event, rooftop installations on the Public Safety Building and Plaza 349. Over 4,000 solar panels were installed on the three project sites, which will generate 1.7 million kilowatt-hours annually. SLCgreenBlog.com

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Popperton Plots Community Garden

In August we celebrated the successful opening and dedication of the Popperton Plots Community Garden in the Avenues. Popperton is one of the first community gardens to open on a parcel of city-owned land, made available through an expanded Green City Growers program. Popperton was also the receipient of a Partners for Places grant to support their development. It was a wonderful harvest celebration and an important milestone! More plots are available for development: SLCgreenblog.com

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Sustainable Business Leadership Award

In November, Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett was recognized by Utah Business Magazine with a Sustainable Leadership Award, and the whole SLCgreen team was there to help her celebrate! Vicki has led Salt Lake City’s award-winning Salt Lake City Green program for 13 years, spearheading initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and divert waste from the landfill. Congratulations, Vicki! SLCgreenblog.com

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