Create a GIANT garden to help supply Loveland, Colorado food banks!
Garth Bontranger and HPEC want to grow local food for those with the greatest need.
Update: With the help of the High Plains community, Agrium, and Cargill we were able to grow over 90,000 servings of vegetables for the Loveland Food Bank. We met lots of new friends and volunteers and had an amazing season. Thank you all for giving all that you did, we will see you next year!
This year our goal is to accomplish the following expansion of our program:
- Increase community involvement and utilization of volunteers
- Expand cultivated area to 4 acres
- Employ Community Gardener position hours at ¾ time (This has been funded by CanDo)
- Produce 60,000 lbs of food ($96,000 value)
- Build a simple greenhouse to extend the duration of our harvest
- Harvest year-round
- Assist in the creation of more gardens in Loveland focusing on school gardens.
- Add individual plots for community residents
Over the past years, the High Plains Environmental Center has dramatically increased its impact in Larimer County. In 2009, High Plains Environmental Center launched our Nourishing Children Through Nature program with the help of a $5000 grant from the Beanstalk Foundation and a $5000 grant from The Coalition for Activity and Nutrition to Defeat Obesity (CanDo). Our first season we grew and donated 12,000 lbs of food to the Food Bank for Larimer County and the Loveland House of Neighborly Service. In 2010, with the help of 1,335 volunteers donating 5,213 hours of their time, we grew 20,539 lbs. of food and donated it to the Food Bank for Larimer County and the Loveland House of Neighborly Service (exceeding our goal of 12,000 lbs. by 8,529 lbs). In 2010, we received a grant of $22,500 from CanDo, with which we grew and donated $32,862 of fresh produce (based on the national grocers price index). We also shared $2,500 from that grant, along with our technical assistance and guidance, to help create five additional gardens in Loveland. This project also provided members of the community, including kids from local elementary schools, with thousands of hours of valuable community service opportunities.
Loveland Food Bank Statistics
- The Food Bank for Larimer County serves 30,000 unduplicated clients annually.
- Requests for assistance from The Food Bank for Larimer County have increased 55 percent increase since 2006.
- 11.3% of children in Loveland live below the poverty level.
- 1 in 5 children in Larimer County do not have access to enough food to meet their nutritional needs on a regular basis.
- In 2009 the Loveland House of Neighborly service provided 6,161 food baskets to 13,924 clients.
Quotes from our partners at the CanDo and Loveland House of Neighborly service:
“Each summer, Loveland's community and backyard gardeners come together to donate thousands of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to the Food Bank and House of Neighborly Service. But the need for this food does not stop at the first frost in autumn. The need is year-round. We are excited about the potential of a place where people could come together any time of year to learn and give back to the community,and where people are empowered to engage in the growing of fresh food with neighbors and friends. The long-term benefit to the health and well-being of the community would be immense.”
- Susan Singley, CanDo: The Coalition for Activity and Nutrition to Defeat Obesity Medical Center of the Rockies - Community and Foundation Development -
“The price of out of season fresh produce is beyond the budgets of most of our clientele. A donation of locally grown green house garden products during the winter months would be such a bonus to both the financial and nutritional budgets of the Loveland Food Share Clients. We are very grateful for your wonderful produce and wish you the best in seeking financial support of your newest endeavor.”
- Ruth Ann Krause, Food Bank for Larimer County-
The best way to understand why Jim Tolstrup does what he does is to stand outside in a field of grass on a cool morning. Feel the breeze. Smell the sweet clarity of the air. Listen to the birds and insects and rustling of the grass. Taste your cool breath as you exhale.
The High Plains Environmental Center was conceived in 2001.