Mayor Biskupski and local gardeners to celebrate the Liberty Wells Community Garden’s first harvest

Mayor Jackie Biskupski will commemorate the first season of the new Liberty Wells Community Garden on 1700 South and 700 East in a press conference with Wasatch Community Gardens and local gardeners at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 30th.

As the latest addition to Salt Lake City’s Green City Growers program, the Liberty Wells Garden is run by the non-profit Wasatch Community Gardens on city-owned land and provides plots for 44 gardeners to grow vegetables.

The site is also where four resettled refugee families from Sudan and Bhutan grow vegetables through an innovative partnership between Wasatch Community Gardens and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

“Liberty Wells neighbors, including some of our newest resident refugee families, have come together to share knowledge and friendship, which produced this beautiful and sustainable garden,” Mayor Biskupski said. “We have put vacant land to good use while improving the community and good will at the same time.”

This program, called “New Roots,” complements other efforts to help refugee families establish their new lives in Salt Lake City. The Liberty Wells garden is one of 13 garden sites where more than 90 refugee families have plots.

“These gardens offer space for refugee families to share and honor their agricultural traditions, obtain fresh produce, and build community in a new home," said Cecilia Hackerson, New Roots Coordinator for the IRC.
 
The Liberty Wells Garden broke ground in April, after site selection and approval from the city. The project was supported by grants from the Wheeler Foundation and the Rotary Club of Salt Lake City.

The plot now has 44 gardeners, with a wait list of 29.

"We've been amazed to see the enthusiasm and positive energy put forth by the gardeners who make up our new Liberty Wells Community Garden,” said Ashley Patterson, Executive Director of Wasatch Community Gardens. “This group of people has created a vibrant, thriving, and productive space where everyone in the neighborhood wants to hang out, chat with their neighbors, and enjoy fresh food together."

Britt Vanderhoof spends hours at the Liberty Wells garden each week.  “As a community health nurse, I’ve seen the positive health impacts of communities coming together to help one another,” she said. “As an avid gardener, I’ve enjoyed the health benefits of eating fresh, organic, locally grown food. But as much as I love the taste of food fresh from the garden, I have enjoyed even more seeing the community around the Liberty Wells Community Garden come together to help grow this amazing garden into what it is today.”

Salt Lake City’s Green City Growers Program began in 2013 to support local food production on city property.  The city continues to evaluate parcels for potential garden sites as demand increases. 

What: Liberty Wells Community Garden harvest, part of the Salt Lake City Green City Growers program
 
Who:
Mayor Jackie Biskupski
Ashley Patterson, Executive Director, Wasatch Community Gardens
Britt Vanderhoof, RN, Liberty Wells Community Garden steward
Cecilia Hackerson, New Roots Coordinator for the International Rescue Committee
 
Where:
Liberty Wells Garden
1700 South 700 East (southwest corner)
 
When:
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 at 10 a.m.
 
For more information please visit:

www.slcgreen.com/communitygardens

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