Utica, NY — Mohawk Valley Latino Association (MVLA) and First Circle have officially launched their project, La Abundancia Community Space and Garden in the Cornhill neighborhood of Utica. The goal of the project is to create a safe and welcoming space to assist community members with their diverse emergency needs, provide equitable educational opportunities in workforce development, ecosystem advocacy and permaculture design, and serve as a place to cherish community together.
La Abundancia will be located at 28 Scott Street, Utica. The site will house MVLA’s main offices, the community garden, and First Circle’s School for Ecosystem Advocacy (S4EA). The community space and garden will directly benefit community members who are at a higher risk of poverty and inequality with a focus on educating and empowering young people of color. People will be welcome to gather in a space designed by the community to grow healthy foods, cook, eat and celebrate community and tradition together. This project will also encourage new partnerships with other non-profit organizations, schools, businesses, and community organizations through collaboration to benefit the community of Utica.
The Mohawk Valley Latino Association and First Circle invite people to submit an application to participate in the School For Ecosystem Advocacy. Everyone from the age of fourteen and above is welcome, though applicants who reside in Cornhill and the surrounding area will receive first preference. At the culmination of the program any participants who have completed the required criteria will be certified as an Ecosystem Advocate. This includes but is not limited to:
- Participate in a group project to design an edible permaculture garden to benefit MVLA;
- Design an individual project of their choice in natural, social, or economic permaculture, demonstrating their understanding of permaculture principles, concepts and strategies;
- Complete at least 72 out of 110 hours of coursework based on international permaculture standards.
The course schedule, as much as possible, will be determined by the participants.
“The key takeaway for participants is that the project will provide them with systems thinking that is transferable to any position or organization with which they engage, as an employee or as an entrepreneur. Any ecosystem would benefit by applying the principles, ethics, and concepts of permaculture. Together we will be launching the next generation of Oneida County ecosystem designers with the tools and resources they need to become dynamic leaders in their communities,” said Cimbria Badenhausen, Director of First Circle and Founder of the School for Ecosystem Advocacy.
“I have been developing this vision of a community garden and space for several diverse populations in Utica, not only to grow foods and a space to gather, but also to have people share their stories and help unite them as a community,” said Sonia Martinez, Executive Director of the Mohawk Valley Latino Association.
MVLA and First Circle hope to raise $200,000 to fund the project and are accepting donations through a GoFundMe petition. People are also welcome to sponsor a participant of the program. For more information, contact Sonia Martinez at 315.864.8419 or email@example.com.