Urban Agriculture Research Center

The Problem

The problem we are trying to solve is to ensure the survivability of urban and community gardens. Community gardens are needed for a number of reasons including the elimination of food deserts, access to local and regional food, decreasing the amount of energy used in transport and distribution of food, access to organically grown and enhanced education and awareness of the benefits of community gardening especially for youth and seniors. We are planning to design, construct and operate a first of Kind Urban Agriculture Research Center. The center would employ youth primarily to work along side research scientist and other experts to help define ways to increase the survivability of these gardens through plant research, training, education and awareness, equipment and tooling techniques, irrigation and specialized outreach. The program will be design, development and deployed by youth with guidance from experts at the Center for Sustainable Communities.

Plan of Action

Urban Agriculture Research Center Purpose: Analyze, evaluate, test, monitor, research, and perform experiments to assess and evaluate tools, techniques, technology and approaches to sustainable agriculture. Principle Location: Attwood Community Garden Objectives: (a) Provide optimum location and facility to enable applicable research. (b) Provide an atmosphere to facilitate student projects and learning (c) Provide a forum for applicable speakers and presenters with a focus on youth and seniors (d) Develop a relationship with applicable agricultural research entities (e) Design, develop and deploy activities to build, construct and make operational the UARC(youth driven). (f) Design and test two projects that can be deployed, analyzed and tested (g) Develop organization and leadership structure to ensure effective operation of the facility (youth focused) (h) Identify tools to assist youth and student in learning about Urban Agriculture (i) Develop laboratory ( in full) for sample testing, identify equipment and facilities needed (j) Utilize laboratory facility to support youth based community service and service learning projects’ Semester Objectives (Jan--April): (1) Assist in the Design, Development and Deployment of the Urban Agriculture Research Center at a suitable location; (2) Design, Develop and Deploy Three Independent Research Projects (3) Increase Awareness and Education of Sustainable Agriculture Through Student Projects, Expert Presenters and Specialists.

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