This summer, Cross Over Community Development initiated a Community Garden Pilot Project that combines ESOL, Entrepreneurship, and Vocational Training for Urban Farming. The goal for this project is to address a gap between initial refugee resettlement services and long-term assimilation into Dayton. Cross Over believes that this approach of combining language and skills training in a community-involved activity will offer an important long-term tool in helping refugees re-establish high quality lives for themselves and their families.
With the support of OMEGA CDC and Gospel Mission, Cross Over has gained the use of the property at 136 Edgewood Avenue and 145-147 respectively to host a 2017 Community Garden. That will serve as a model for how our organization can work with neighborhoods, partners, and the City to teach refugees how to apply proven skills from their countries of origin to fill needs in Dayton. Five Rivers Metro Parks provided support in tilling the ground while Harvest for Hope assisted with fencing the gardens. The idea of this Community Garden Pilot Project was to elevate awareness of the refugee’s initiatives, create social connectedness with the local community, and to identify products and markets that define a long-term impact to the Dayton food desert.
Ohio State University Montgomery Extension Office provided training and technical support including soil testing and education, while Central State University Extension provided training and seeds as well as provided support in the development of strategic planning. The Levin Family Foundation offered horses for watering the plants. Fairhaven Church and its volunteers contributed to the water bill and more horses for watering. Hillside Church volunteers supported making the trellis to support the plants, while Hanley Sustainability Institute of University of Dayton is working to help the organization find a market for the produce of the garden. Just recently, Montgomery County Land Bank provided a space at 21 & 27 Drummer Avenue, Dayton, which is envisioned by Cross Over to be the model for a permanent Demonstration site of urban farming.
We are looking for an even greater number of partners for the future to engage with the community and increase English comprehension and learning. To all those who have been involved with this cause, we thank you for your continuous support.
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