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PATHSTONE CORPORATION's Fundraiser:

Newburgh Unity Center Garden Build-a-Bed

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THE STORY:

The Newburgh Unity Center hosts the city’s largest community garden. At only three years old, the Unity Center garden provides the facility necessary to assist the local population with the remediation of our local food system. Twenty-seven garden beds host more than sixteen individual gardeners, as well as local organizations that have incorporated community gardens into their own programs. Currently, PathStone Community Improvement of Newburgh manages the coordination of events, garden maintenance, upkeep, and the development and continued expansion of the garden.

This project aims to reach not only community members interested in gardening, but also those most in need. By waiving the bed reservation fee for gardeners and organizations interested in donating their produce to soup kitchens and food banks, gardeners are encouraged to provide nutritious sustenance to financially distraught citizens. This service translates to a core group of gardeners interested in serving the community by producing food and supporting the growth of a local agriculture tradition.

In the City of Newburgh’s current food system, many citizens encounter several educational and economic barriers to acquiring nutritious, natural foods combined with a poverty rate that is 205% higher than the state average. As a result, children in the area often suffer from a lack of education in proper dietary habits. The legacy effect of this trend is reflected in the frequency of diet related illnesses reported in a recent study conducted by PathStone Community Improvement of Newburgh.

Currently, the garden provides a unique opportunity for anyone or any organization within the city to take part in monthly workshops led by a master gardener from the Cornell Cooperative Extension. Offering food culture, urban agriculture education, and a forum for community development, the Unity Center Garden program aims to encourage community members to take initiative to improve their own lives.

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