Community Garden Expansion Program


Randolph Street Community Garden from Illinois Public Media on Vimeo.

The goal of The Randolph Street Community is to provide local residents, living in a food desert, the opportunity to grow or purchase healthy produce, and to pass on gardening traditions to a new generation of children. The video above shows what we have been doing. We would like to expand this project to include:

1. Addition of a second business component of residential food waste composting.

2. Installation of a green house.

3. Installation of an irrigations system.

4. Acquisition of property in the neighborhood to serve as operations base for programs and collaborative projects between community and university groups.

5. Establish a “Gown to Town” initiative to house, in the community, social justice oriented graduate students and local community organizers to:

-develop trusting relationships with community members
-engage and empower community members through training and education
-conduct research (with community members) that articulates their needs
-develop and implement programs to meet those needs.

The Randolph Street Community Garden is a key site of development for the Champaign community. It is where diverse populations intersect and interact.In 2014 alone, 1,434 volunteer hours were worked. That’s 184 people that came to the garden to help other people grow food, clear their beds, water, share knowledge and learn about one another. Just under 600 people attended planned garden events. People who are black, brown, red, white, and yellow, city residents and university students, church and un-churched, children, men, women, able bodied, disabled, and elders. All participate at the Randolph Street Community garden, where food, fun, and friendship grow and we are building community!

Your donation will help continue and expand this crucial community development work.

For further information, you may contact Dawn Blackman at dawnblackmansr at yahoo dot com.