New Frisco greenhouses over budget, in need of money |

New Frisco greenhouses over budget, in need of money

Caitlin Row
Summit correspondent
Summit, CO Colorado

FRISCO, Colorado – The Summit Prevention Alliance’s new “ultra-local” food movement has hit a snag. Its Frisco community greenhouse project is way over budget, and alliance staff need to raise $10,000 by June 1.

“We have a $20,000 LiveWell grant fund that is paying for the materials and construction,” said project coordinator Joanna Rybak. “However, we were hit with additional charges that we weren’t expecting such as Frisco Sanitation District fees, and additional costs for materials and construction. We don’t have any funds for extra tools and equipment that we need such as solar fans, hoses, a tool shed and other gardening tools.”

Alliance staffers, with the help of Alpine Earth Center in Silverthorne, recently built its garden beds and three greenhouses near the Summit County Community and Senior Center – the concept was created last year to give low-income families and seniors access to healthy, fresh vegetables. But now the local nonprofit lacks funds for much-needed tools and garden equipment. Any tools, trellises, gardening benches, watering pitchers, hoses, and other garden-related accessories would be gladly accepted by the community garden.

“We are asking people to keep us in mind if they are (at yard sales) or are emptying out their garage,” Rybak noted.

Other needs include additional seeds for variety, and money to start a water fund, said alliance executive director Kari Read in a letter.

“A shed is on our wish list and would be extremely helpful,” Read added.

According to Rybak, finding sustainable food solutions for Summit County’s population is important to the overall health of the community.

“The need for basic food assistance is growing in Summit County as evidenced by an increase in families enrolled in the SNAP (food stamp) program and visitors to our local food banks,” she said. “The food banks of Summit County have seen an unprecedented demand in the last year that is continuing in 2010. Between 2000 and 2009, the number of people fed per year by local food banks increased by over 815 percent for some food banks. This places a huge burden on Summit County.”

And one goal of the greenhouse project will be to grow vegetables for the local food banks. Organizations that benefit seniors or low-income people can also apply for a sponsored plot. Other goals include education and developing a farmer’s-market style distribution of produce with tiered pricing.

“The nutritional and overall health benefits the gardens will provide to Summit County residents are countless,” Rybak said. “Beyond physical health, community gardens create a venue for community members to gather and socialize. We now need the additional financial support for this project to become a sustainable reality.”

Availability for both regular and sponsored plots are filling up quickly. The alliance is still taking applications, and a waiting list will be used.

“We are asking individuals and groups to get involved and support this community-oriented project,” Rybak said. “Overall, community support has been superb and folks want to help the hungry.”

For more info, contact Rybak at (970) 453-9333.

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