On a crisp morning on Saturday, September 24th, 2016, 7th and 8th graders from STRIVE Prep – Sunnyside’s Community Adventure Program (CAP), as well as CI staff, instructors, donors, board members, and volunteers, headed down to the Westwood neighborhood of Denver to help out during Cottonwood Institute‘s Urban Farm Volunteer Project with Re:Vision. Re:Vision is a non-profit in Denver that focuses on alleviating the food desert in the Westwood neighborhood. By empowering residents to grow their own food in their backyards and opening a new food co-op that will be owned and run by the residents, Re:Vision is not only bringing fresh healthy food to the area but also providing jobs and economic opportunities. It is pretty rad(ish)!
STRIVE Sunnyside CAP students joined Cottonwood Institute volunteers, including staff, instructors, fans, donors, and board members. We were greeted by Joseph Tiepel, one of the co-founders of Re:Vision, who shared the history of the organization, as well as what we were going to work on for the day and how it would help.
Re:Vision recently received a grant from the city to buy a large area of land as well as a building to house the Westwood Food Co-op, a commercial kitchen for cooking and nutrition classes, Re:Vision offices, and space for Westwood residents to launch their own food related businesses. The CAP students’ job for the day was to prep some of the outdoor area to be seeded with barley grass as a cover crop for future garden space and to help out in the existing garden. It took us quite a while to rake out all of the large rocks and clumps of soil, but the class powered through by listening to music and singing. Once the soil was raked and prepared for seed, we got to use a seed broadcaster to cover the area with barley seed. Barley is a nitrogen fixer, so its growth will repair the health of the soil for future planting. While part of the group hosed down the soil to start the seed germination process, the rest of the group joined the other volunteers to weed the onion patch. Volunteers were then rewarded with lunch from Chipotle!
It was a beautiful day, sunny, but not too hot, so it was a great time to be outside. The group really enjoyed being outside, picking morning glories, learning about the Westwood neighborhood and Re:Vision, and talking with nearby neighbors. One neighbor even thanked us for our work to help make the neighborhood beautiful and brought popsicles, which was a fabulous end to a very fun and rewarding day!
A huge shout out goes to all of our hardworking volunteers and partners who helped make the 2016 Urban Farm Volunteer Project a success.
Want to see more photos from this volunteer day? Check out our Shutterfly share site: Click Here!
Written by: CI Instructor, Rachael Jaffe