It was a sunny September morning, as a group of bright eye bushy-tailed Cottonwood Institute volunteers gathered at what looked to be an old abandoned warehouse with willing hands, ready to work! Little did we know how far this old warehouse had come in the past year and the vision and passion leading it forward.
Our wonderful partners at Re:Vision are preparing the warehouse to be a locally grown food co-op for the residents of the Westwood Community. It’s called the Westwood Food Cooperative and it “is the first cooperatively owned food hub in the country that integrates low-income urban food producers and local, small scale farmers.” Also, I was pleasantly surprised to learn about the ownership and buy-in of the local residents in creating sustainable, local, healthy food options in their own backyard gardens. In addition to the co-op, it is their hope to offer community wellness classes on site such as yoga and Zumba and provide an event space for other community happenings in the future. This is just one of the many programs Re:Vision offers to various Denver communities.
We started the day with an overview of what Re:Vision is all about by the Director of Operations and Co-Founder, Joseph Teipel. The work we did prepared the large gardens behind the Westwood Food Co-op for planting next year. This included digging and filling in irrigation pipeline ditches, picking up trash, pulling up weeds, and laying new mulch.
We really enjoyed connecting with an amazing volunteer crew, which included educational partners from Strive Preparatory Schools Westwood Campus, Cottonwood Institute staff and volunteers, as well as two Cottonwood Institute alumni who participated in our Community Adventure Program over 10 years ago!
Thanks to a very motivated and ambitious crew we were able to accomplish a lot in 6 hours! We left the volunteer day feeling accomplished and appreciative of the partnership we have formed with Re:Vision and with our volunteers who came out to support their important work. We hope the work we did moves Re:Vision closer to the grand opening of their new Westwood Food Cooperative location and we look forward to growing this partnership in the future.
You Can Help Too! Check out Re:Vision’s inspiring Kickstarter video and donate if you can: