Friday, September 27, 2019

Groups Seek Funds for Afrofuturistic Garden, Food Forest, Boat Dock

Posted By on Fri, Sep 27, 2019 at 11:49 AM

Site of South Memphis Future and Funk Community Art Garden - GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps
  • Site of South Memphis Future and Funk Community Art Garden

Two groups are looking to transform a vacant South Memphis lot into an Afrofuturistic-themed community garden, and are asking for donations to do so.

Using the online fund-raising platform, ioby, the Center for Transforming Communities and the United Housing Inc. are hoping to raise a little over $8,000 to create the South Memphis Future and Funk Community Art Garden.

The project is planned for a vacant lot on McMilan Street in South Memphis’ Lauderdale subdivision. Designed by Tobacco Brown, a community art garden specialist, the garden “will honor the meaning of home in South Memphis and will reimagine what the future of South Memphis as home will mean using art, photographs, and nature.”

Organizers say one goal of the garden is to engage the community and encourage the activation of other vacant properties in the city. The garden will be a “gateway to begin the discussion about creative ways to activate vacant lots and land while celebrating the culture of South Memphis and the future of the community,” the fund-raising page reads.

A community build day is scheduled for Saturday, October 5th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the site of the future garden. Volunteers will have the opportunity to work with Brown, the garden specialist, to plant flowers and build seating for the space.

Organizers are hoping to reach the fund-raising goal of $8,327 before Monday, October 7th ahead of the unveiling celebration on October 12th. The groups will host an activation celebration that day for the community to come and learn about the garden.

The celebration will feature writers Sheree Thomas and Troy Wiggins as speakers, an Ethiopian coffee ceremony, as well as poetry, dance and musical performances. The event will also provide information on fair housing in the city, programs that promote renter's rights and home ownership, and the importance of home ownership in building wealth, equity, and stability for families.

Through its New Century of Soul Challenge, the city of Memphis has promised to match donations for this project up to $10,000. To donate go here.

click to enlarge Future site of the Uptown Community Food Forest - IOBY
  • ioby
  • Future site of the Uptown Community Food Forest

• A few miles north of the South Memphis garden site, another group is looking to transform an existing Uptown community garden into a food forest, a garden that mimics forest growth with edible plants. This strategy for growing food leads to better light exposure, simpler maintenance, and an overall better, more bio-diverse yield.

Unlike most community gardens, organizers say the Uptown Community Food Forest will utilize nearly all of the land where it sits to maximize the amount and variety of crops. The project’s organizers say the food forest will provide the community with access to naturally grown food, including seasonal and native produce that they might not otherwise have access to.

The hope is to raise the $8,675 needed for the project by the end of November. To donate to this project go here. The city is also slated to match funds for this project.

click to enlarge Rendering of proposed boat dock - WOLF RIVER CONSERVANCY
  • Wolf River Conservancy
  • Rendering of proposed boat dock

• Several miles away from the site of the future food forest, the Wolf River Conservancy is raising funds to give a Raleigh community better access to the Wolf River.

The Conservancy is looking to construct a boat dock near the recently constructed Epping Way section of the Wolf River Greenway trail. The boat dock will provide expanded access to the 20-acre lake there. In Raleigh, there is currently no safe way to access the water to teach and enjoy paddle sports, according to the Conservancy.

The hope is that the new boat dock will help the group better engage youth and adults in environmental education and recreation activities.

The Wolf River Conservancy has already secured $55,000 for the project, but is looking to raise an addition $20,635 by Friday, October 4th. The city has agreed to provide the difference if the goal isn’t met. To donate to this project, go here.

To learn about more projects in the city like these, visit the ioby site.

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