The Ivy Street Community Garden and Greenhouse is one of the many projects that NHS of New Haven is involved with in an effort to revitalize some of New Haven’s most challenging neighborhoods. Working together with resident gardeners, we have taken a sparsely-used community garden and transformed it into a beautiful, shared space for the neighborhood to enjoy. The space is often a formal and informal meeting space for residents and youth programs. This summer, NHS of New Haven plans to increase use and engagement of the Ivy Street Community Garden through performing repairs, clean-ups, and formalizing curriculum to be used with garden guests. We also intend to complete the newly-revitalized Sherman Forest, a short trail which borders Newhallville (NHS of New Haven’s target neighborhood). This path will provide residents with a safe alternative to walking in the roadway and make Beaver Pond Park more accessible to the people living in this low-income area.
The VISTA Summer Associate will work with NHS of New Haven’s Community Building and Organizing staff to improve the appearance and level of engagement at the Ivy Street Community Garden and Greenhouse, help complete established placemaking projects, and assist in the planning and engagement for various summer festivals that take place during the service period. Specific activities will include: repairing garden beds, installing passive-water and air systems, researching solar panel installation, modifying composting systems, supporting community gardeners in providing programming for youth groups, developing experimental learning curriculum for use at community gardens, supporting outreach to residents for the West River Water Festival and Newhallville Festival, and supporting volunteers to improve established greenspace projects, including the Sherman Forest and the Shelton Triangle Learning Corridor.