GFMA Raised Beds Initiative
The Community Raised Bed Initiative is the result of a collaboration between the The Upper Ocmulgee River RC&D/USDA-NRCS, The Georgia Farmers Market Association and various community partners within metro-Atlanta. The initiative aims to foster community awareness, appreciation and access to local food by installing raised beds in gardens throughout the region. The project will facilitate the installation of 15 beds in eight locations. The following locations have received the raised beds:
Gwinnett Bed Placement
The Greenhouse: Georgia Farmers Market Association
The Georgia Farmers Market Association hosts a community garden in Downtown Norcross in partnership with the Norcross Senior Center. Several seniors associated with the Center work the garden. The garden also supplements the food needs for area families. We record the output of the garden as well as volunteer hours. We have a volunteer work day scheduled for Sunday, October 9th. It would be great if the beds can be installed on that day as well.
Summerour Middle School
The existing garden program continues to thrive under the direction of Gardens4GrowingCommunity (G4GC) and its supporting partners. While teachers and students regularly utilize the site, the next phase of the program is to develop the site's ability to produce more food more consistently for the community. By adding raised beds to a section of the venue designated as the "community garden", more produce will be available to support the envisioned student-managed CSA, and this area dedicated to community gardening will become more inviting and engaging.
Lilburn Middle School
Lilburn's environment stewardship club "Team Green" has a strong foundation and history at this school, with 24 active members (the club's full membership capacity) and a waiting list of eager students. Traditionally, students have managed the school's recycling program; however this year, in addition to recycling, they voted to start a school garden. To date, students have been encouraged to take the lead in the development of their garden, and have fully engaged in its concept development, design and site selection. G4GC and the Team Green teachers are working together to establish a sustainable student-managed garden program that will benefit all students in the school both academically and socially.
Norcross Elementary School
NES has a small gardening program in place, with 6 raised beds that are regularly used by several teachers to support academics. Large class sizes are a challenge and having more gardening space available would allow more teachers to provide their students with meaningful garden-based experiences, as more students could then individually engage in planting seeds and weeding.
All of these sites are in cities determined to be food deserts. All 3 of the schools are Title 1, majority minority and serving low-wealth communities in Gwinnett County. All 3 schools are supported by Gardens4GrowingCommunity with the intent of training teachers to incorporate the gardens across interdisciplinary academics as well as working with PTA members, teachers and school administrators to make it a policy to engage the community and ensure a sustained gardening program.
Dekalb County Bed Placement
Sweet Potato Cafe, Stone Mountain- Contact Kwabena Nkromo
This restaurant is creating an Edible School yard on the property expanding the existing small community garden they currently have on site. The beds will be used to connect area school age students to the food grown in the restaurant incorporating farm to table and farm to school curriculums.
Ujima Community Garden, (in Lithonia City Park) (2beds)
Charlene Edwards - Action Not Words Project
Lucious Sanders Recreation Center
2484 Bruce St
Stoneview Elementary School -
Ms. Ledra Jemison, Principal
2629 Huber St