Boilermaker Urban Garden-Let the Growing Begin!

(Jun. 16, 2016)

Ceremonial planting of dwarf cherry tree.

The inaugural opening of the Boilermaker Urban Garden (BUG) took place with the ceremonial planting of a dwarf cherry tree. The creation of the garden has been a collaborative effort including New York State Department of Health, Mohawk Valley Youth Build, Rust 2 Green, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Boilermaker Road Race.

"The goal of the NYS Department of Health's Brownfield's Projects are to increase the public's access to green space and provide access to lots to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. It's gratifying to see the repurposing of unused city land into a productive urban garden" said Cathe Bullwinkle, New York State Department of Health Program Coordinator. "The young people from Mohawk Valley Youth Build who built this garden were simply fantastic."

The BUG will be maintained by youth from Oneida County Youth Employment as well as volunteer master gardeners and will feature both vegetables and flowers.

"BUG will serve, first and foremost, as a backdrop for the community to create garden-based educational programming" said Debra Richardson, Cornell Cooperative Extension's Environmental Change Educator with the Eat Smart NY program. "This summer a collaboration of partners will pilot 'Youth FEAST: Food, Education and Agricultural Solutions Together' where teens will learn to grow vegetables, develop culinary skills, explore food system-based career opportunities and ultimately how food access affects the health of their community."

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