The goal of this project is to engage our community, develop a sustainability plan and implement a community garden greenhouse. We believe that our notion of sustainability strikes a balance between environmental, social & economic systems all inherently connected.
Our project utilizes local food production and public meetings as a tool to engage the community in developing a sustainability plan for the Town of Ward. As with many rural communities, we believe it is important to protect the character of Ward. This idea should be reflected in a transparent planning process. In order to create a Sustainability Plan that truly reflects community values, community meetings will be held to solicit input. We plan to encourage formation of subcommittees focused on different sustainability areas. Through a series of public meetings that explore issues and opportunities related to the various focus areas, the Town of Ward Sustainability Plan will be drafted. It will be critical for the strategies developed through this public process to be applicable and obtainable for Ward community members. Therefore, solutions and strategies will need to take into consideration the economic constrains of our rural residents.
For many, the challenges of high attitude living can present opportunities for growth. Historically, our community has been rooted in sustainability principles and environmental stewardship. We would like to make this notion both formal and literal through the development of a community garden greenhouse initiative that would foster community engagement. This engagement will help local food production and ensure year round local fresh food supply. We plan to build and manage the green house with 100% community volunteer effort with the support of the Town’s Zero Waste Coordinator & Director of Open Space. Food from the garden will be available to community members through our local food bank. Growing Spaces Growing Domes is a Colorado-based company that manufactures greenhouses designed for high altitude growing. We are currently submitting a grant in order to receive a significant discount from their original greenhouse price.
Over the last four years, community resident Amy Weinberg has facilitated the connection between Ward and the Boulder Food Rescue program via operation of a Mountain Food Rescue. In order to provide access to free produce, Amy volunteers about 12 hours per week picking and sorting produce prior to providing a home delivery service to low-income town residents. 35% of our residents, many of them elderly, do not have access to a vehicle. As such, it is difficult for them to access the Nederland Community Pantry. Food security is one of our most important focus areas within the local food and agriculture goal. We believe that coupling a community garden greenhouse with our current Mountain Food Rescue initiative will be a way to engage our community. We need to come up with a food solution that is local permanent & affordable.