How Urban Gardening Can Help Build Communities

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Joseph Della Fave, Executive Director, Ironbound Community Corporation, Maria Lopez-Nunez, Deputy Director, Organizing & Advocacy, Ironbound Community Corporation, to talk about the importance urban gardening and how growing a sense of community begins by investing in children and families.

11/4/19 #2257





"Welcome to One on One. I'm Steve Adubato. We're coming to you from the NJTV Studios in beautiful Newark, New Jersey. It is our pleasure to introduce Joe Della Fave, who is Executive Director, and Maria Lopez-Nunez, who is Deputy Director, Organizing & Advocacy, for a great organization celebrating its 50th anniversary right here in the City of Newark, Ironbound Community Corporation. Congratulations folks. Thank you very much Steve. ICC, your organization, does what Joe? We've been doing all kinds of things together as nonprofits, but describe it. Well, we do essentially two big things. One, we provide direct services to people, early childhood education, family services, job training, et cetera. But we also learned a long time ago that high quality services that impact individual lives is great, but we also need to address the largest systems that people are living, growing, playing, and working and praying, in the community itself, and the systems... the overall systems that address them. So that's where things come in, like, is your housing affordable? Do you have healthy foods to eat? You know, is your air clean to breathe? Or is it triggering asthma? Or water issues? Water issues. Obviously clean water. These are the types of things that people need to grow well. Maria, let's talk about the urban garden piece of this. There's an urban gardening piece... tell me, is it called Down Bottom Farms? Yes. Down Bottom Farms. I know a lot of people remember Down Neck, another name for the Ironbound. For those of you not born and raised in Newark, like some of us, we were very fortunate, we always called the Ironbound Down Neck. Go ahead. Mm hmm. And now it's evolved to Down Bottom. So the kids make sure to keep us relevant. [laughter] So Down Bottom Farms is where we plant the future, right? Because the Ironbound, for those of you that don't know, is the industrial section of Newark. We have the state's largest garbage incinerator. We have a sewage waste treatment plant. And the Passaic River is the longest Superfund site in the country. So, you know, facing all of that, we needed to create something where our community can come together and grow the visions of the future. Of a future away from fossil fuels. A future where people are connected to the foods that they eat. And so in the process we also got this wonderful grant from TD to be able to nurture the farmers of tomorrow right? So there's AeroFarms, which a lot of people know about... AeroFarms. By the way, check out our website. Yeah. AeroFarms is an interesting organization. They're one-of-a-kind in the country. Check them out. But go ahead..."