Community Garden on Zion Street

$4,860 of $4,500 goal

Raised by 79 people in 11 months
Jennifer Roach  HARTFORD, CT
The Wesley Colbert Zion Street Community Garden is named in honor of our neighbor, Wesley Colbert. In 2011, on our first day clearing the lot, Wes’ towering 6+ foot frame appeared over the fence. He said “Hey, are you building a garden or something?” and then reappeared around the corner, carrying all of his garden tools. He helped us every day that summer and in no uncertain terms made the garden possible. Wesley passed away on July 3, 2012 and the following year we dedicated the garden  in his name.
Since then, the garden has grown to contain 120 raised beds that are free to community members to grow their own produce. Our founding partners, the Somali- Bantu refugee community, care for 30 beds, and the rest are available for neighbors. The garden also serves as a “home base” and training ground for our Urban Farming Internship  teams. Many of our interns participate in the Zion Street Garden to grow their own produce.

We have increased our fundraising goal this year becuase our school partners have been deeply affected by the budget crisis in Connecticut. In a typical year, about 20% of our budget comes from schools in support of school gardens. In order to keep working at these schools through the budget cuts, we have taken on the full cost of supporting them. It's a challenging year, but we are confident we can bridge the gap with your support.  All donations will be tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, the New England Grassroots Environment Fund.


The Budget:
When we built the garden in 2011, we created herb planters using recycled tires. After a few years, tires are no longer safe to grow in, so we have been phasing them out. We want to remove the final tire beds and replace them with new wooden raised beds.
In addition, many of the beds that we built in 2011 are cracking or broken, so we want to replace them with new lumber (and a thicker cut lumber than we used originally).
 With 120 garden beds, it can be easy for members to confuse who is signed up for which bed, so we want to build signposts for residents to write their names on them. We hope that these improvements will help build a sense of community within our garden members.
The majority of the funding will support a team of interns from the Urban Farming Internship to work 4 hours/week at the community garden. Our team signs up residents for beds, helps them plant and harvest, keeps the garden clean and the grass cut, and organizes community events.

Perks: 
First time donors and repeat donors who increase their contribution will receive a sample of mint tea, grown on Zion Street. 
Repeat donors who contributed in 2015 will have have a chance to win one of 10 baskets of produce!

* All donations will be tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, the New England Grassroots Environment Fund.
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Update 16
Posted by Jennifer Roach
10 months ago
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We are delighted to share great news about our spring campaign for Summer of Solutions Hartford. Every month, employees from GoFundMe nominate their favorite projects on the site for consideration for their Give Back award. Brian, a GoFundMe employee, was inspired by our work after watching a talk by Will Allen, an urban farming activist. He nominated us to receive a $1,000 contribution from GoFundMe. All of the nominations were reviewed by a committee, and they selected our project as the winner!

Imagine my surprise when I saw a $1,000 donation appear on our page!

Their contribution brings our total to $4,660, or 103.5% of our original goal, and we are overjoyed.

Our page will be active and accepting contributions until May 31st. Your additional donations will be allocated to our school gardens at the Burns Latino Studies Academy and the Connecticut River Academy to support youth interns working on those teams.

Remember, 2015 donors who increase their contribution will be entered for a chance to win a basket of fresh produce, and first-time donors will receive an individual serving of mint tea grown in the Wesley Colbert Zion Street Community Garden.

You can make a donation to Summer of Solutions in two ways:

1) Contribute to our online Go Fund Me campaign

2) Mail a check to our fiscal sponsor, made out to New England Grassroots Environment Fund. Write “Summer of Solutions Hartford” in the memo line and mail to: PO Box 611, Newmarket NH 03857

Thank you all for your support and for sharing this success with us!
Happy as people holding baby goats!
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Update 15
Posted by Jennifer Roach
10 months ago
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Two more first-time donors contributed today, bringing our total to 26! That's a lot of people getting tea <3
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Update 14
Posted by Jennifer Roach
10 months ago
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I'm so happy to share this nightly update! We are 70% of the way to our goal, with contributions from 61 people (22 of whom are first-time donors), and 525 shares on Facebook.
School halloween party meets harvest
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Update 13
Posted by Jennifer Roach
10 months ago
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Good morning! I have an exciting update- as of this morning, 58 people have contributed to our fundraiser and TWENTY of them are first-time donors!
Right now the campaign total is $2,925. Can we make it past $3,000 today?
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$4,860 of $4,500 goal

Raised by 79 people in 11 months
Created April 28, 2016
$200
Anonymous
9 months ago
GT
$1,000
GoFundMe Team
10 months ago
1
1

We’re excited to be able to Give Back to campaigns that have touched us here at GoFundMe. We wish you the best, - The GoFundMe Team

TC
$100
Thomas Casey
10 months ago
JR
$50
Joseph Rotella
10 months ago
$25
Anonymous
10 months ago
$50
Ellen Curry
10 months ago
$25
Marlo Fernandez
10 months ago

With love

JB
$25
Joanne Blake
10 months ago
JM
$10
James Malizia
10 months ago
DF
$10
Daniel Fitzgerald
10 months ago
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