Wednesday, October 24, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Eileen Horn, Sustainability Coordinator, 785-330-3121
Common Ground Program honored as “Sustainable Success Story”
(LAWRENCE, KAN.) - The City of Lawrence’s Common Ground program will be recognized by the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) as one of seven honorees at the 2012 Sustainable Success Stories being held Friday, Nov. 30, at the Kaufman Center, Kansas City, Mo.
MARC’s sustainable success stories recognize policies, programs and practices that exemplify creating sustainable places in the Greater Kansas City region as part of its Creating Sustainable Places initiative. Project honorees were selected through a competitive application process.
The Common Ground program is a community gardening and urban agriculture program created by the City of Lawrence. In the winter of 2011, the city surveyed its vacant and underutilized properties, identified appropriate sites for agriculture, and made them available through an application process for citizens. During the 2012 growing season, five pilot sites were launched through partnerships with neighborhood associations, nonprofit organizations and schools.
The five sites include: two in-neighborhood community gardens, a youth-focused garden in a city park, a community orchard for free picking and a market farm coordinated by college and middle school students. In exchange for receiving a free license for use of city property, each grower/applicant created a Community Benefit Plan for their project. These Plans have resulted in 300 lbs of excess produced being donated to food pantries, field trips for student groups and public workshops on topics from composting to fruit-tree pruning.
“By sharing the successes and challenges of the Common Ground program, we can enable other cities to utilize innovative approaches like this to provide more healthy, local food for citizens,” Eileen Horn, sustainability coordinator, said.
Sustainable Success Stories is part of an ongoing community dialogue focused on building a better understanding of sustainable practices that have the potential to transform communities into “America’s Green Region.”
Other MARC honorees include: Lenexa (Kan.) Guidebook of Quality Community Development Strategies, Midwest Region Alternative Fuels Project; City of Lee’s Summit Sustainability Action Plan (SAP); Shawnee Mission School District School Cafeteria Waste Diversion Project; William York Residence, Leawood, Kan. and U-Pass, University of Missouri-Kansas City and Kansas City Area Transportation Authority Pass Program
For more information on the Common Ground program, please visit: http://www.lawrenceks.org/common_ground.
For more information on MARC’s Creating Sustainable Places initiative, please visit: http://www.marc.org/sustainableplaces.
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