Through Renown Health and Urban Roots, what was once an empty gravel lot is now an urban teaching farm for the community.
After lots of hard work and numerous donations, an empty gravel lot on Second Street owned by Renown Health has been transformed into a urban teaching farm. Renown and Urban Roots partnered to start the farm close to the hospital to make fresh produce available to local residents.
There are three 30-by-72 foot high tunnels on the urban farm in order to grow food year-round. Teens and preteens who participate in the Urban Roots “Young Farmers” program will hold outings here to garden in the raised beds.
Urban Roots Executive Director Fayth Ross says the plan is to partner with the Food Bank of Northern Nevada to supply food to its upcoming prescription food pantry. “We will be serving children who are identified as food insecure,” Ross says. “Our kids are going to be growing food for other kids.”
Renown Health President and CEO Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH says the urban farm will help teach the next generation of community members how to grow their own food.
“We spend a lot of time focusing on making sure we are delivering the best health care when people are sick and injured, but also investing in ways in which people can live healthier,” Slonim says. “And what we know about being healthy is you need appropriate access to good, healthy food.””
Project supporters include Urban Roots, Renown Health, AmeriCorps members, NV Energy, Lowe’s of Sparks and Reno, Curtis Bros. Construction, Full Circle Soils & Compost, Food Bank of Northern Nevada and community volunteers.