Growing power is growing green spaces
October 21, 2009
Source: Lowe’s Companies, Inc. and Growing Power, Inc.
Lowe’s Commits $141,000 Grant to Support Agricultural Training Space for Local Students; Helen Bader Foundation Gives $30,000 to Support Professional’s Time Spent Training Students
The pioneering urban “Growing Spaces” Project received a $141,000 grant from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, as well as $30,000 from the Helen Bader Foundation, to build an urban, agricultural training space and green garage in the Milwaukee Riverwest neighborhood. The grants will support a partnership between Growing Power, Inc., Bradley Tech Construction Academy, Inc., and the Lynde & Harry Bradley Technology & Trade School to provide educational opportunities for future green-collar workers and a community-based training site for urban sustainable agriculture.
Growing Spaces is the first project of its kind in the United States. Bradley Tech students are currently constructing a green building from start to finish made completely from green construction materials and technology. The project began in July 2009, and its construction is approximately 40 percent completed.
The Growing Spaces project will provide an intensive, year-round rooftop garden and greenhouse to serve as a community-based training site in urban sustainable agriculture. Growing Power staff provide the training for Bradley Tech students in year-round sustainable food production and will provide training opportunities for community members once the green garage is complete. The food produced by students will stay in the local area and be shared among neighbors and food pantries in the Riverwest community.
“We hope the Growing Spaces training project serves as a model to inspire our community to grow its own food,” says Growing Power CEO, Will Allen. “We can rectify existing greenhouses, rooftops, and even grow food on asphalt at a real cost much lower than what was needed to support this training program.” And, indeed Growing Power does. The Growing Spaces project is but one of Growing Power’s many community-based and urban sustainable food system projects the organization supports locally and globally. Will Allen confirms, “Working with Willie Sinclair of the Bradley Tech Construction Academy has been one of the most rewarding partnerships in my professional work experience. Willie’s construction training program has prepared hundreds of Milwaukee youth to join the building trades in Milwaukee and elsewhere over the years and demonstrates his commitment to the
Growing Spaces project.”
A press conference will be held at 11 a.m. on Oct. 21, 2009 to showcase this project’s benefits to the local community. Students will be available on-site, and media are invited to take photographs or video of the project’s progress. Several prominent community members will be speaking at the conference including:
• Will Allen, Chief Executive Officer, Growing Power Inc.
• Willie M. Sinclair, Jr., President/Chief Executive Officer, Bradley Tech Construction Academy,
• Stacy Jones, District Manager, Lowe’s Milwaukee area
• Robert Tobon, Communications Director, Helen Bader Foundation, Inc.
The press conference will be held on the rooftop garden at:
Growing Spaces’ construction site
2231 North Booth Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212
The Growing Spaces project is preparing Bradley Tech students for green construction jobs by developing a cutting-edge training facility that will provide opportunities for students to participate in a new, green curriculum. The project positions the city of Milwaukee as an incubator for a green construction workforce and exemplifies the state of Wisconsin’s commitment to green innovation.
ABOUT GROWING POWER, INC.
Growing Power transforms communities by supporting people from diverse backgrounds and the environments in which they live through the development of Community Food Systems. These systems provide high-quality, safe, healthy, affordable food for all residents in the community. Growing Power develops Community Food Centers, as a key component of Community Food Systems, through training, active demonstration, outreach, and technical assistance.
ABOUT BRADLEY TECH CONSTRUCTION ACADEMY
The Construction Academy is one of the four academies offered at Lynde & Harry Bradley Technology and Trade School. Within the Small Learning Community of construction, students acquire an understanding of the residential and commercial construction industry and then concentrate their learning experiences on a selected professional trade. In the Construction Academy the students are placed in classes like plumbing, carpentry, and electrical wiring, as well as using those skills in the real world at the rehab house.
ABOUT HELEN BADER FOUNDATION, INC.
The Foundation strives to be a philanthropic leader in improving the quality of life of the diverse communities in which it works. It makes grants, convenes partners, and shares knowledge to affect emerging issues in key areas, awarding more than $179 million in grants and $10 million in Program Related Investments since it was established in 1991.
Lowe’s is a proud supporter of Habitat for Humanity International, American Red Cross, United Way of America, and the Home Safety Council, in addition to numerous non-profit organizations and programs that help communities across the country. In 2008, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational
Foundation together contributed more than $25 million to support community and education projects in the United States and Canada. Lowe’s also encourages volunteerism through the Lowe’s Heroes program, a company-wide employee volunteer initiative. Lowe’s is a FORTUNE® 50 company with fiscal year 2008 sales of $48.2 billion and has more than 1,675 stores in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit Lowes.com/community.
Will Allen, Growing Power, Inc. (414) 527-1546
Karen Cobb, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (707) 758-3404
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