GARDENS BY & FOR REFUGEES: IRC's DENVER-BASE & REGENERATION NOW
This week, a timely and rich with agency conversation on gardens by and for refugee populations.Areti Athanasopoulos is a Denver, Colorado – based landscape architect and urban planner. The daughter of immigrant parents, a Greek father and an Irish mother, she has long been interested in the immigrant and refugee experience.
Areti has spent many seasons studying and working around the world, and particularly in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee’s New Roots program, and while in Denver with Denver Urban Gardens, at a school, community and New Roots garden at Ellis Elementary School in downtown Denver. Following from this work, Areti has recently founded her own non-profit entity focused on gardens for and by refugee populations: ReGeneration Now, Growing Our World.
The IRC's New Roots program "helps refugees become food secure and contribute to their new homes and communities. Since 2008, New Roots has helped new Americans to navigate their food resources, facilitated low-income families to enter urban agriculture, developed local food systems and community green space infrastructure, and provided a platform for youth and adults to build job and life skills."
"As of 2021, the IRC has a network of more than 62 New Roots gardens, farms and markets across ten U.S. cities, where more than 5,000 people a year grow, prepare, share, buy, and sell local, healthy foods in their communities. These initiatives use food as a vehicle for positive change and leverage the knowledge and power of IRC’s clients and partners to promote holistic health and wellness, new options for building livelihoods, and unique pathways for community integration."
Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) is the "largest independent network of food-producing community gardens in the country, comprising 190 community and school-based gardens across metro Denver. DUG focuses on reducing barriers to fresh, healthy, and organic food by providing access to space, knowledge, and resources for anyone wishing to grow their own produce. Annually, we serve more than 40,000 people through our gardens and programs."
Photos courtesy of Areti Athanasopoulos, ReGeneration Now.
Please follow the work of Areti Athanasopoulos and ReGeneration Now
online at : ReGeneration Now - Growing Our World
and on Instagram at: @regenerationnow/
Please follow the work of IRC and Denver Urban Gardens online at:
IRC Denver link: https://www.rescue.org/united-states/denver-co
IRC Denver donation link: https://help.rescue.org/donate/us-denver-co
Denver Urban Gardens https://dug.org/ Donation page: https://dug.org/donate/
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JOIN US again next week, when we're in conversation with Emily Murphy – the author of Grow What You Love. Her newest book, Grow Now, deepens her Grow What You Love philosophy into the importance of regenerative growing. She will share more of her thoughts on Grow Now, How we can save our Health, Communities, and Planet one Garden at a time next week. Listen in!
Cultivating Place is made possible in part by listeners like you and by generous support from the California Native Plant Society, on a mission to save California’s native plants and places using both head and heart. CNPS brings together science, education, conservation, and gardening to power the native plant movement. California is a biodiversity hotspot and CNPS is working to save the plants that make it so.
For more information on their programs and membership, please visit https://www.cnps.org/
For more information on SAGING THE WORLD: cnps.org/conservation/white-sage
Thinking out loud this week:
As gardeners, heck as humans living our life in or out of what we might see as the fray – it is hard to not see world events – the War on and Invasion of Ukraine, ongoing conflict in Syria, ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan, Climate change everywhere and think to ourselves – what can I do? I am just one person, one gardener.
And I love this one little key to action and agency that Areti shines a light on for us this week.
Remember how we talked last week about both not being able to do everything all by ourselves and about invitation with Lisa and Erin?
Well, with the first quarter of 2022 under coming to an end, and the Vernal Equinox coming into view as we turn toward spring, I would like to thank everyone who is out there listening, sharing forward, donating and supporting Cultivating Place. Just like any garden cannot grow without soil, water, sunshine, compost and manure these civil gardening conversations cannot happen without all of you taking a small part in all of these roles.
Because of you and your financial and moral support, I am able to speak to and engage with gardeners around the world, to engage, encourage, and empower all of us as gardeners to embrace our gardening identities with love, with fun, with courage and mission.
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Keep growing friends.
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