Grow Food & Flowers, Help the Planet!

Grow Food & Flowers, Help the Planet!

Are you looking for a little motivation to plant a garden? You know that planting a garden will reward you with fresh vegetables and/or flowers, but did you know it can also help you to reduce impacts of climate change? Check out what some of Freshwater Future’s climate grant recipients are doing to grow food and flowers and ensure their communities are resilient in the face of climate change.

Bill and Billie Hickey, members of Neighbors Building Brightmoor, a neighborhood group in Detroit, built several water collection systems for use in community gardens. One location helps provide water for a garden where adults with disabilities learn gardening skills and work to grow food for themselves and their residences. The water collection systems not only provide critical water during the growing season but help to reduce runoff from increased rains resulting from climate change. Collection systems like these also help to prevent flooding of basements, and minimize stormwater that can overload the wastewater treatment plant.

Judy Einach with the New York Sustainable Agriculture Working Group wants insect pollinators to have a fighting chance against the impacts of climate change. Among the threats to these tiny and most prolific pollinators is the additional loss of key habitat conditions that support their survival. Judy’s project team is developing an online resource, Pollinator Place (available soon), for landscape managers and beginning or master gardeners who want to learn more about the pairing of plants for food and shelter with specific bees and butterflies. You can help pollinators by choosing native plants that will thrive in changing climatic conditions and by using harmless methods, no pesticides, to maintain habitat health.

Vel Scott, with New Image Lifeskills Academy Cleveland, loves to cook and garden. Combining her passions, Vel grows food in the neighborhood community garden and throws parties with classes to show her neighbors and especially how to cook a variety of delicious vegetables. garden, known as the “Purple Oasis” includes nut trees, providing shade in the hot summer place to socialize. The garden also has extensive collection system with solar powered irrigation—helping to reduce runoff and greenhouse gases.



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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.