McDonough Community Garden is a 8500 Square feet community garden on Richmond Virginia Southside located in a USDA denoted food desert. 33rd and Forest Hill Ave, like 2 blocks from Crossroads coffee & ice cream shop.
There are tons of benefits for this to the community including a beautiful edible landscape perfect for horticultural therapy, a community space for social gatherings and cultural activities and youth programs teaching children and teens in the community social entrepreneurship, biology, nutrition and ecology. In addition, the space has a great potential for bridge building in the community allowing for inter-generational and cross cultural dialogues. The site is also located in a food desert and will allow for easier access to fresh fruit and vegetables to the community that surrounds it.
The 2010 census places the percentage of individuals in poverty in the city of Richmond VA at 25%. Due to the city only being 60 square miles large poverty is highly concentrated within the inner city. In fact, Richmond contains the densest concentration of public housing south of NYC with 9 housing projects all located within a 2 mile radius.
The USDA Economic Research Service designates 12 census tracts within the city of Richmond Virginia as food deserts. The Virginia Dept of Health identified Richmond VA as having one of the highest diabetes mortality rates in the state and was highlighted as 2nd highest obesity rate in 2012. The prevalence of diabetes and obesity is inextricably linked to poverty in the city of Richmond and connection of these diet related chronic diseases to the inaccessibility of fresh fruits and vegetables by large segments of the population is nearly impossible to dispute.
Studies show that eating more fruits & vegetables lowers the risk of chronic lifestyle diseases. The Center for Disease Control advocates the support and promotion of community gardens as a strategy to increase fruit & vegetable production. Evaluations of gardening programs show that participants report higher consumption of vegetables than non-gardeners. Urban agriculture has the capacity to empower thousands within the city by addressing food insecurity and providing economic empowerment opportunities through cultivation of a local sustainable food system.
Our mission is to promote urban agriculture, horticultural therapy and environmental stewardship.