ReWorks has provided a number of community gardens with food scrap compost as a result of the Grow Green Compost Giveaway, and they range from gardens that feed families facing homelessness to a court-owned garden that enables residents to fulfill community service requirements
The recipients include: Cuyahoga Falls Community Gardens, Eden’s Blessing Community Garden in Akron, NoHo/Akron Sustainer Community Garden, Peace Community Garden in Akron, Stow Municipal Courthouse Community Garden and Lakemore Community Garden.
Each garden received an eight cubic yard truckload of compost.
All community gardens located within Summit County were qualified to enter. The winning entries were selected through a random drawing.
“The Grow Green initiative helps raise awareness of ReWorks’ efforts to divert food waste from local landfills by providing compost made from food scraps to community gardens,” said Marcie Kress, ReWorks executive director. “One of the many benefits of this initiative is that we improve soil quality while reducing what goes into landfills.”
ReWorks purchased the compost for the Grow Green Compost Giveaway from Paradise Composting Co., an Ohio EPA licensed facility that composts food waste.
The Cuyahoga Falls Community Garden operates at Keyser Park. The garden has been in existence for 23 years and has over 2 acres of garden space providing access to land for 50 gardeners.
Eden’s Blessing Community Garden is located in Akron on Stadelman Avenue. The garden accepts compostable food scraps and organic garden waste, and provides the fruits and vegetables they grow to the local community.
NoHo/Akron Sustainer Community Garden is located at the Cascade Lofts on North Howard Street in Akron. It serves as both a garden and education center for sustainability, and the residents of the Cascade Lofts, friends, family members and attendees of the Akron Sustainer workshops receive produce from the garden farms.
Community Peace Garden is located at the corner of Princeton and Russell streets in Akron. The garden shares its produce with neighbors, and also uses it to prepare meals for homeless families staying in the nearby Catholic Worker Hospitality Homes.
Stow Municipal Courthouse Community Garden is located on Courthouse Drive in Stow, provides people with the opportunity to complete court-ordered service hours by working in the gardens and offers the food they grow to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and local shelters.
The gardens provide more than food and good environmental stewardship, said Rick Klinger of Stow Municipal Courthouse Community Garden. “Our garden allows indigent persons to work off their fines, but it also teaches skills, work ethic and civic responsibility. The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Good Neighbors and the Battered Women’s Shelter have received bushels of potatoes, peppers, cucumbers and other nutritious produce,” he added.
Lakemore Community Garden is located at the corner of Park and Short streets in Lakemore. The garden provides a space to both grow vegetables and bring the community together. The produce grown is shared among the gardeners who tend the land and the Lakemore Food Pantry.
Another way these gardens impact their communities is addressed by Dave Daly of Eden’s Blessing Community Garden: “We accept all compostable food scraps, leaves, grass clippings and any organic garden waste. We have knowledgeable gardeners on hand that makes sure the bins are kept up, and materials are actively breaking down.”
ReWorks is Summit County’s Solid Waste Management Authority. ReWorks provides solutions and leadership to empower Summit County communities, institutions and businesses to develop and utilize environmentally sound, cost-effective recycling, and waste management strategies For info, visit www.summitreworks.org.