The UUCC Environmental and Climate Justice Teams, formed after the Environmental service two years ago, have contacted many Howard County organizations, looking for one that reflects our values with whom we might partner. The Community Ecology Institute, a 501(C)(3) non-profit, operates Freetown Farm on Harriet Tubman Lane. There, they grow and sell vegetables; groups like the NAACP grow food; school children dig, and learn about the earth; and adults dig, build sheds, weed and repair small appliances. A ceramics studio is under construction, and a building is being adapted to hold classes and meetings. Their goal is to connect people with each other and the natural world.
Over the past year, UUCC has begun a relationship with CEI. Their leaders have spoken at services here and one led the Forum on Plant Based Diets. Some of our members have been volunteering at the farm once a month, and were there when NBC filmed Freetown Farm for a segment yet to be shown on the Today Show.
So far, CEI has installed 30 “Nourishing Gardens” in Columbia neighborhoods where vegetable growing space is limited… OBIC is another good location. They received a grant to provide to install plants, raised beds, soil, and mulch. However, that did NOT include THE FENCE.
Cradlerock Children’s Center needed playground space for their youngest children and we were able to save money by having Long Fence construct both at the same time. Our cost for the 30’x20’ section: $3,082.00.
We hope this garden will connect us with each other, the neighborhood, and CCC. It will let RE children and those in CCC realize where food comes from and help it grow. It will also be an important part of our application to become a UU Green Sanctuary.