The Neighborhood Resiliency Initiative has been formed as a grassroots response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis. To increase the local fresh food supply, all that is needed is land and people that have the knowledge, resources, time, and physical ability to cultivate that land! This initiative is here to help our community put all these elements together. We aim to connect people + resources + gardening projects in as close proximity as possible (ideally within walking distance and in their own neighborhoods)!
Our initiative is creating and identifying nearby urban gardening opportunities and helping volunteers connect with the know-how and the resources they need. There are lots of ways to help, and we would love to see you get involved in a communal gardening project near you!
See volunteer role opportunities below.
Please note: We will be practicing all of the recommended physical distancing and sanitation precautions related to the pandemic. For general pandemic related questions, you can visit the CDC Coronavirus Guidelines this link.
Physically Participate in Hands-On Gardening
This option is for people that have the time and energy to contribute directly with physical labor in garden projects, whether at your own property or at nearby communal gardening projects. No experience or personal tools are necessary, but they are a plus. We will be following all recommended safety procedures related to the pandemic such as: washing our hands, practicing 6-foot distancing, covering our face with cloth or a mask, and sanitizing shared tools. This is a great way to increase your personal access to fresh food as we recommend all participating projects provide a portion of the food grown directly to the volunteers who help make it happen.
Provide Land for a Community Garden Project
Do you have a place where you think a garden should be installed? Or maybe an existing garden that just needs some work? If you directly own the land or have explicit permission from the land owner, this could be a huge resource to your neighborhood! (Please be prepared to provide photos and details about your land.) As a Land Donor volunteer, you are eligible to use our database to immediately begin reaching out to Organizers, Volunteers, Mentors, and Resource Donors in your area to help support your project. For these projects, reasonable community
access to the food produced should be made possible. One suggested model is: give 1/3 of food produced to the team directly producing the food, 1/3 to at-risk members of your community in need, and the remaining 1/3 is kept/sold by the Land Donor to sustain the project.
Share Your Knowledge, Teach Newbies, Help Guide Projects
This is for people that have the time and knowledge to provide expertise to new gardeners and to assist with the planning and direction of nearby community gardening projects. Please only sign up if you are comfortable being called, texted, or emailed with requests and will try to respond within 24 hours whenever possible. We recommend teaching and utilizing only organic gardening techniques for health and accessibility reasons.
Donate Supplies or Funding to Help Projects Succeed
Whether it's physical resources, skill-based resources, or financial resources, your donations will aid in the success of nearby communal gardening projects. If you sign up for this, expect to be contacted by nearby Organizers or Land Donors that will tell you about their project and request your support. We do not have a central bank account and donations you choose to make will be personal arrangements made between private parties with no liability held by this initiative. A share of the food from the resulting successful project constitutes a reasonable request. Physical resources that would be helpful could include: soil, compost, seeds, amendments, tools, gloves, etc.
Connect People + Resources For Your Neighborhood Project
Organizers for this initiative will have access to these form responses and will be asked to reach out to people that live in the same city or zip code to connect land opportunities with volunteers, mentors, and resources. We will be holding Saturday morning 9:30am to 11am conference calls to support organizers in assessing opportunities and resources and giving suggestions for management. One initial tip is to check the database first for other organizers in your same city and reach out to them to coordinate your plan for contacting those in your neighborhood. You could split things up based on zip code or any arrangement that works best for your area.
I SIGNED UP! WHAT'S NEXT?
Thank you for joining us! We are so excited to have you on board. Expect to be contacted by NRI members near you! If you have signed up as an Organizer or Land Donor you will be emailed access to our database within 24 hours which you are free to start using immediately. Help grow the database and the movement by inviting your neighbors and network!
“We can begin by doing small things at the local level, like planting community gardens or looking out for our neighbors. That is how change takes place in living systems, not from above but from within, from many local actions occurring simultaneously.”