BENEFITING: CALIFORNIA NATIVE GARDEN FOUNDATION
Garden for Ghana is a project dedicated to building and nurturing sustainable lifestyle in communities across Ghana through effective partnerships with local and international groups, institutions, and individuals.
Garden for Ghana is modeled after the California Native Garden Foundation ELSEEE (Environmental Laboratory for Sustainability and Ecological Education) program. ELSEE is a gardening model that has been implemented and perfected over a number of years in California schools. This model promotes the role of native plants in small-scale, low-impact food production, and ecological restoration. In partnership with the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, the ELSEE model is being refined and optimized to meet the challenges unique to communities in Ghana by adjusting for local conditions like nutritional and medicinal needs, ecology, etc.
The town of Yamoransa was chosen as the pilot community for our Garden for Ghana project. This community has endured severe environmental and socioeconomic challenges stemming from unsustainable practices like slash and burn agriculture which has caused widespread deforestation, loss of native plant species and subsequently severe soil erosion. The environmental degradation in Yamoransa has over the years, significantly impoverishes the community, especially since loss of top soil makes local food production difficult. The average villager's diet is high in cheap carbohydrates, but low in other nutrients essential for health.
Our project tackles these far-reaching environmental and socioeconomic challenges in Yamoransa by:
- Implementing erosion control- using erosion control gardens to stabilize hillsides and prevent further soil erosion
- Introducing sustainable agricultural practices like organic farming and gardening with native plants
- Improving food security through sustainable community food gardens
- Establishing a composting program to harness renewable energy and support soil building
- Working with local primary schools to write lesson plans that teach young people about their local natural environment (e.g. trees, plants, animals and weather), and the importance of sustainability
- Working with local artists through the arts (books, music, and poems) to demonstrate and teach the value of environmental stewardship and nutritional values to citizens; and
- Raising awareness on the need for water recycling and establishing ways to capture rain water.
Since the inception of this project, CNGF has established 3 erosion control and food gardens in Yamoransa. We propose adding five new gardens by the end of this year, and 11 additional gardens in 2016.
We estimate that by the end of 2016, our gardens will feed an average of 40 families, especially the vulnerable children and the elderly, in Yamoransa on a year to year basis. Your generous donations can make this a reality.
You may choose to sponsor a new garden with a donationof $600, or any percentage of a new garden with lesser donations. You may also choose to support an existing garden to become sustainable with a donation of $250 or less. All donations are welcome!
Please join the California Native Garden Foundation to build a thriving, resilient and sustainable Yamoransa, by sponsoring a garden today!
To learn more about the California Native Garden Foundation and our Garden for Ghana Project, visit http://middlebrookcenter.com/elsee/category/internship-teams/the-garden-design-team/gfg/