Providence Environmental Initiative Will Transform Vacant City-Owned Parcels into Urban Farms
‘Lots of Hope’ program awarded $100,000 by Rhode Island Foundation and Florida-based Local Sustainability Matching Fund
PROVIDENCE, RI – The City of Providence, in partnership with the Southside Community Land Trust and the Rhode Island Foundation, is embarking on a new initiative to convert city-owned vacant lots into productive urban farms.
“Lots of Hope is an innovative new program that will help to build a more sustainable and healthy City for years to come,” said Mayor Angel Taveras. “Providence has a vital environmental community committed to helping make the city more sustainable. Together, we are moving forward to transform Providence into one of the greenest cities in the nation. I thank the Rhode Island Foundation, the Local Sustainability Matching Fund and Southside Community Land Trust for partnering with the City of Providence on this exciting initiative.”
The Lots of Hope program will enable Providence residents to access low-cost, underutilized public land from the City along with technical assistance and hands-on support from Southside Community Land Trust. The program is financed by a $50,000 grant from the Florida-based Local Sustainability Matching Fund and a matching $50,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation.
Archives For Food
→ The New York Times: A Michigan City Bets on Food for Its Growth
The idea of building a year-round public market to tie the city’s skilled chefs to the region’s big complement of young farmers had already attained an air of inevitability by the time this Midwestern city held its first Restaurant Week three summers ago.
Next year, just in time for the fourth annual Restaurant Week, Grand Rapids is scheduled to open the $30 million, 130,000-square-foot Downtown Market, a destination that is expected to attract 500,000 visitors a year. The three-story brick and glass building, under construction in a neighborhood of vacant turn-of-the-20th century warehouses, is intended by its developers to be a state-of-the art center of commerce for the culinary arts and fresh local foods.
It is also seen as having the potential to accomplish much more.
My SimCity version of Providence in my head has a Public Market building on the parking lot next to Ri Ra, with through access from Burnside Park to Waterplace Park.
→ The Atlantic Cities: 5 Models for Cheaper, Greener Housing for Veterans
Earlier this year, I wrote about a terrific project providing apartments, supportive services and job training for veterans in central Milwaukee. On the green side, Veterans Manor earned a 92 out of a possible 100 points on a local “Green Built” standard, while enjoying a transit-accessible location with a Walk Score of 72. The building has a commercial kitchen that services both the residents and local schools while providing job training and experience.
When we discussed the statewide ballot questions the cost of the Veterans Home came up, $94 million bond. My other reservation about the Veterans Home was its location.
The WalkScore for the existing Veterans Home in Bristol is, “42 Car-Dependant.” A Veterans Home is populated by many elderly and disabled people, which is why they need a home, most of those people cannot drive. Additionally, services are provided for homeless Veterans who obviously cannot afford a car and need access to public transit and jobs.
If they were in a town center or near a bus line at least, they would have opportunity to leave the home and interact with members of the community, keeping them active and vital. Being stuck in a home on Metacom Avenue in Bristol is not the best we can do for our Veterans.
On Sunday, October 21, from 5:30pm to 12am, Urban Greens Food Co-op will be hosting a Fall Fiesta at the AS220, 115 Empire St, to celebrate the local food system, the power of co-operative structures, and Urban Greens Food Co-op’s recent progress and successes.
Chefs from local restaurants will be preparing small plates featuring ingredients from local farms and producers, the AS220 bar will offer beverage specials whose proceeds will benefit the co-op, there will be a silent auction featuring a wide variety of items and services from local businesses and artisans, and the evening will culminate in a benefit music concert featuring local bands and musicians.
Attendees can come for the food and stay for the music, or just come to the concert portion of the evening:
- 5:30pm – 8:30pm: Tasting plates from local chefs, kids activities, silent auction. $25 for the Night, $20 for Co-op Member-owners, Kids under 13 free.
- 9:00pm – 12:00pm: A benefit show for Urban Greens Food Co-op. Doors at 8:30. $8 (or wristband from the first part of the event.)
“Noon Tunes” in Burnside Park starts today and continues every Thursday in September – 12pm-1pm.
This summer GKP teamed up with Brown Student and Community Radio to bring summer jams, international beats, and electro jazz to Burnside Park. This Thursday we kick off our September lunchtime music series Noon Tunes where you can enjoy food truck fare and music each Thursday under the trees. This week catch BSR dj’s Sarah Lammer and Emily Jeene as they spin vintage dance tunes from across the decades.
This event has been postponed and will be rescheduled for sometime this fall.
Healthy Food Truck Throwdown
Roger Williams National Memorial
Thursday, August 9, 2012 | 11:30am – 1:00pm
Join the Rhode Island Department of Health, The Mayor of Providence and Roger Williams National Memorial staff in a lunchtime event that will showcase the culinary skills of Rhode Island’s Food Trucks.
Twelve trucks will line North Main Street between Smith Street and Park Row, adjacent to the Memorial, to battle it out in a competition to make the tastiest, healthiest treat and become Rhode Island’s Healthiest Food Truck!
In addition to enjoying good, healthy food at beautiful Roger Williams National Memorial, you will be entertained by some of Rhode Island’s most well known and well loved singer songwriters: Ed McGuirl , Joanne Lurgio, and Katherine Quinn!