What is the challenge you are trying to address?
When the kids and teachers leabe for summer break… thriving school gardens often get left and forgotten about. The summer season in school gardens requires innovative strategies to make sure that food goes to the hungry, and that replanting for fall crops takes place, so that the garden thrives when the kids and teachers return. Part of that strategy involves keeping the gardens watered, whilst considering the most sustainable and innovative ways of doing so.
Without urban agriculture projects such as this, our lower income communities especially, suffer higher risk of illness due to lack of fresh fruits and vegetables and often people arriving from abroad do not have the access to culturally relevant fruits and vegetables.
What is your proposed solution?
The Urban Youth Catching Rain project gives youth in need of summer employment an ideal are opportunity to become program leaders, helping train other youth and children as they learn the “how-to” of urban gardening.
Rainwater capture is an ideal and innovative solution, firstly because rain is better for plants than municipal water; using rainwater is more accessible to community members than water wells under lock and key; and using rainwater capture techniques leads to reduced stormwater runoff.
Through this project we hope to install new rainwater catchment systems and to main the existing systems in our partner school gardens. We want to make it possible for community members to use the gardens and have access to good quality water for gardening, which saves energy and utility costs.
How will you use this money? Please be as specific as possible.
What would you say to someone thinking of donating to your project?
With the support of the City of Toronto, we have been able to offer the Urban Roots Youth program in 2012. We are unsure of future commitments by the City, so this proposed water catchment infrastructure that helps to support future summer gardening programs and services is immensely helpful.
The summer programs that train and support youth learning to grow food in the city helps everyone – the youth, the community that benefits from the food, and of course the environment is helped by reducing stormwater runoff. Communities are safer when youth are engaged in healthy activities.
We would love your support during Canada Water Week.