The Richmond office of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is establishing the roots of watershed stewardship in traditionally low-income neighborhoods through its S.E.E.D.S. initiative.

Established in 2000, Stewardship and Environmental Education in Digging Soils teaches participating communities about such topics as water runoff, organic gardening practices, rain barrels and other issues.

By reclaiming abandoned urban areas and creating educational green space, it is hoped that the effort will serve as a model that empowers nearby neighborhoods and inspires them to join the growing community gardening movement.

The latest effort is taking place at Tricycle Garden in Richmond’s Church Hill area and includes members of the community, artists and architects. The project will spring up on a neglected and unsightly plot of land.
When the garden is established, it will serve as an educational space where people from diverse backgrounds can come to learn about harmonious relationships with the earth.

A volunteer action day is scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 11. Participants will plant a BayScapes demonstration garden, build raised vegetable beds and plant fall vegetables, as well as tidy up the area.

Each participant will also receive an information packet with native plant lists, BayScapes tips and community gardening resources. It is hoped that this “traveling library” will inspire members of the community to bring these concepts to life in their own backyards.

The community gardening initiative has received a small grant from the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund to carry out its mission.

For information about S.E.E.D.S. or the Alliance’s partnership with Tricycle Garden, contact Hadley Milliken at 804-775-0951 or hmilliken@acb-online.org