Urban gardening, sustainability education, and community food security

The River City Garden is a community garden and sustainability education site that we've built in collaboration with Hudson Urban Gardens, AmeriCorps, Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhoods, Staley B. Keith Social Justice Center, and Sweet Freedom Farm. Check out our facebook page for the most current information about upcoming events and community workdays! The River City Garden is made possible by support from the United Way of Columbia and Greene Counties and the Green Pastures Fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. 

Youth Programming. We began work on the garden with a group of children and teenagers in Spring 2014, during a weekly youth workshop called Roots & Rebels (2014), launched again as the Roots & Rebels Garden Club (2015). In Summer 2014 we ran a five-week leadership training for teenagers called the Social Justice Leadership Academy, in which participants spent time at the River City Garden, investigated issues of food access in Hudson, and made links between critical aspects of the food system and the criminal justice system.  It is our goal to creatively engage young people in the skills and methods of growing food, in thinking critically about the impact of global food systems on our communities, and in stepping up as leaders in the development of local food systems. 

Community Food Security. Hudson is classified as a Food Desert by the USDA. This means that for those who do not own vehicles, affordable and quality food access is a daily issue. Hunger and nutrition are significant problems in Hudson, especially in the 2nd Ward neighborhood. Kite's Nest is leading a collaborative and community-based effort to build this new garden, supporting families in the 2nd ward to have access to garden plots and working to increase food security in Hudson. By helping to build an intergenerational, multicultural public garden and education site, we hope to be a part of positive and equitable neighborhood development in Hudson. 

As we move forward, we plan to expand the garden as an educational site, with perennial beds, fruit trees and shrubs, communal beds, season extension infrastructure, gathering and teaching space, an outdoor kitchen, and play space. We are currently working with young adults from the neighborhood to become garden stewards and educators and are working to fund paid positions, develop value-added products, and provide fresh produce for the nearby food pantry distribution.  

We host frequent public community work days, meals, and garden events. To get involved in the River City Garden, email kaya@kitesnest.org. Or, stop by and see what we’re up to! The garden is located on 59 N. Front Street. 


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