Little Green Fingers News Updates

 

“Mariposa-Nabi,” the first of 8 new Community Gardens being built exclusively for young children and their families, recently opened in Koreatown.

You can read about the Grand Opening celebration in the Los Angeles Times. Also, check out some of the great pics from the event as well as a time-lapse video of the garden construction here).

Stay Tuned: We’ll be announcing our next gardens soon.

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RECENT PRESS RELEASES:

For Immediate Release: 

1ST LOS ANGELES CHILDREN’S COMMUNITY GARDEN
PRE-THANKSGIVING GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION

Koreatown’s Mariposa-Nabi Garden Provides Food-Growing Beds for Children and Their Families to Fight Obesity Epidemic; Provide Healthy Food Alternatives In Low-Income Areas

November 19, 2012, Los Angeles – This weekend, children and families in Koreatown celebrated the grand opening of the first community garden built specifically for kids under five in LA Country with live music, games, and gardening and cooking demonstrations.

The non-profit Los Angeles Conservation Corps is spearheading the innovative “Little Green Fingers” garden project thanks to generous funding provided by First 5 LA. The LA Corps has assembled an extraordinary team of garden and health experts to implement the multi-year program that will create sustainable community gardens for young children to help address the obesity epidemic among kids in LA County by providing free, locally grown sources of healthy food in low-income areas.

“One out of every five elementary school-aged children in LA County is overweight or obese,” said Dr. Nicole Gatto, Assistant Researcher, Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA. “By teaching children and their families how to grow healthy, nutritious fruits and vegetables, “Little Green Fingers” will promote healthier eating habits and create ways to reduce the obesity epidemic in LA and in communities across the country.”

Dozens of local families, recruited by the LA Neighborhood Land Trust, helped design the garden with the guidance of landscape architect Glen Dake and community planner Miguel Luna. The garden features a “crunch and munch” garden for kids, a water-play table, Narrow Leafed Milkweed plants that will attract and nourish Monarch Butterflies, and other features tailored for children under five. There are more than two dozen garden beds for families and an additional three community plots that will be cultivated by the Mariposa-Nabi Primary Center, the local Headstart pre-school and by the UC Extension Master Gardner program that will teach the community best gardening practices.

“I’m so proud of all of the LA Corps members who have built a magnificent resource in the Koreatown community and have learned invaluable construction and gardening skills that will serve them in future careers,” said Bruce Saito, LA Corps Executive Director.

The garden celebration included live kids music performed by Apple Brains, gardening demonstrations by a master gardener, a solar cooking demonstration by Humble Bee Cafe’s founder Susan Rigali, organic food provided by Tender Greens catering, and games and giveaways for kids.

The Mariposa-Nabi garden wouldn’t have been possible without the help of St. Mary’s, a 100 year old Episcopal church with a strong Japanese American heritage, that agreed to host the garden on a plot of vacant land adjacent to the church which was donated by The Celtic Cross, Inc. an organization closely affiliated with the church.  The garden also features a beautiful wrought iron fence that was built as part of an Eagle Scout project built by Ansh Sancheti and a team of volunteers.

The LA Corps and its garden partners also are seeking local corporate sponsors and volunteers who can help fund and program ongoing cooking and nutrition programs for families.

###

About Little Green Fingers:
First 5 LA awarded a five-year grant to the Los Angeles Conservation Corps to help address the obesity epidemic in Los Angeles by creating a children’s garden collaborative for young children and their families called “Little Green Fingers.” The initiative will construct eight community gardens in underserved communities throughout Los Angeles County between July 2012 and July 2014. The gardens will provide a minimum of 6,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables each year and will feature on site amenities and programs targeting families with children ages 0-5.  The Little Green Fingers team of experts includes: First 5 LA - providing funding for planning and implementation; Los Angeles Conservation Corps program oversight and garden construction; Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trustland acquisition, community organizing and leadership development; Nicole Gatto -epidemiologist and health science researcher at UCLA’s School of Public Health overseeing project evaluation; GDML: Glen Dake and Miguel Lunalandscape architecture and community organizing; UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Programgardening and nutrition education; and The Better World Groupstrategic outreach and communications. For more information, visit www.lagardencouncil.org/little-green-fingers.

Little Green Fingers is helping to address the obesity epidemic among LA children:

• 1 out of 5 children in Los Angeles County are overweight or obese.

• More than 30 percent of Latino children in LA have medical disorders that can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life. These conditions have been linked to high consumption of refined grains and added sugar, coupled with low intake of fruits and vegetables.

• In South and East Los Angeles, only one grocery store exists for every 6,000 residents (versus West Los Angeles where there is one for every 3,800 residents).

• Only 18 percent of East LA grocery stores sell fresh fruits and vegetables of good quality (i.e. not over-ripe or rotting). These “food deserts” or lack of access to healthy, affordable, high quality food, are common in low-income, inner-city communities.

About the LA Conservation Corps:
The Los Angeles Conservation Corps is a 501(c)3 private non-profit organization founded in 1986 by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Trade Ambassador Mickey Kantor.  Its primary mission is to provide underprivileged young adults and school-aged youth with opportunities for success through job skills training, education and work experience with an emphasis on conservation and service projects that benefit the community.  The LA Corps is a national leader in workforce development and alternative education for inner-city youth and is currently the largest urban conservation corps in the nation with a full-time staff of over 150 employees serving 16,000 young people each year.  For more information, please visit www.lacorps.org.

About First 5 LA
First 5 LA oversees the Los Angeles County allocation of funds from Proposition 10, which added a 50-cent tax on tobacco products sold in California. Funds raised help pay for health care, education and child development programs for children from the prenatal stage to age 5 and their families. First 5 LA’s mission is to increase the number of young children who are physically and emotionally healthy, safe and ready to learn. For more information, please visit www.First5LA.org.

For Immediate Release: 

1ST LOS ANGELES CHILDREN’S COMMUNITY GARDEN
PRE-THANKSGIVING GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION

Koreatown’s Mariposa-Nabi Garden to Provide Food-Growing Beds for Children and Their Families to Fight Obesity Epidemic; Provide Healthy Food Alternatives In Low-Income Areas
 

Saturday, November 17th from 10am – 12pm
965 S. Mariposa Avenue, Los Angeles

November 16, 2012, Los Angeles – Children and families in Koreatown will be celebrating the grand opening of the first community garden built specifically for kids under five this Saturday morning at 965 South Mariposa Avenue.

The non-profit Los Angeles Conservation Corps is spearheading the innovative “Little Green Fingers” garden project thanks to generous funding provided by First 5 LA. The LA Corps has assembled an extraordinary team of garden and health experts to implement the multi-year program that will create sustainable community gardens for young children to help address the obesity epidemic among kids in LA County by providing free, locally grown sources of healthy food in low-income areas.

“One out of every five elementary school-aged children in LA County is overweight or obese,” said Dr. Nicole Gatto, Assistant Researcher, Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA. “By teaching children and their families how to grow healthy, nutritious fruits and vegetables, “Little Green Fingers” will promote healthier eating habits and create ways to reduce the obesity epidemic in LA and in communities across the country.”

Dozens of local families, recruited by the LA Neighborhood Land Trust, helped design the garden with the guidance of landscape architect Glen Dake and community planner Miguel Luna. The garden features a “crunch and munch” garden for kids, a water-play table, Narrow Leafed Milkweed plants that will attract and nourish Monarch Butterflies, and other features tailored for children under five. There are more than two dozen garden beds for families and an additional three community plots that will be cultivated by the Mariposa-Nabi Primary Center, the local Headstart pre-school and by the UC Extension Master Gardner program that will teach the community best gardening practices.

“I’m so proud of all of the LA Corps members who have built a magnificent resource in the Koreatown community and have learned invaluable construction and gardening skills that will serve them in future careers,” said Bruce Saito, LA Corps Executive Director.

The garden celebration will include live kids music performed by Apple Brains, gardening demonstrations by a master gardener, a solar cooking demonstration by Humble Bee Cafe’s founder Susan Rigali, organic food provided by Tender Greens catering, and games and giveaways for kids.

The Mariposa-Nabi garden wouldn’t have been possible without the help of St. Mary’s, a 100 year old Episcopal church with a strong Japanese American heritage, that agreed to host the garden on a plot of vacant land adjacent to the church which was donated by The Celtic Cross, Inc. an organization closely affiliated with the church.  The garden also features a beautiful wrought iron fence that was built as part of an Eagle Scout project built by Ansh Sancheti and a team of volunteers.

The LA Corps and its garden partners also are seeking local corporate sponsors and volunteers who can help fund and program ongoing cooking and nutrition programs for families.

###

About Little Green Fingers:
First 5 LA awarded a five-year grant to the Los Angeles Conservation Corps to help address the obesity epidemic in Los Angeles by creating a children’s garden collaborative for young children and their families called “Little Green Fingers.” The initiative will construct eight community gardens in underserved communities throughout Los Angeles County between July 2012 and July 2014. The gardens will provide a minimum of 6,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables each year and will feature on site amenities and programs targeting families with children ages 0-5.  The Little Green Fingers team of experts includes: First 5 LA - providing funding for planning and implementation; Los Angeles Conservation Corps program oversight and garden construction; Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trustland acquisition, community organizing and leadership development; Nicole Gatto -epidemiologist and health science researcher at UCLA’s School of Public Health overseeing project evaluation; GDML: Glen Dake and Miguel Lunalandscape architecture and community organizing; UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Programgardening and nutrition education; and The Better World Groupstrategic outreach and communications. For more information, visit www.lagardencouncil.org/little-green-fingers.

Little Green Fingers is helping to address the obesity epidemic among LA children:

• 1 out of 5 children in Los Angeles County are overweight or obese.
• More than 30 percent of Latino children in LA have medical disorders that can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life. These conditions have been linked to high consumption of refined grains and added sugar, coupled with low intake of fruits and vegetables.
• In South and East Los Angeles, only one grocery store exists for every 6,000 residents (versus West Los Angeles where there is one for every 3,800 residents).
• Only 18 percent of East LA grocery stores sell fresh fruits and vegetables of good quality (i.e. not over-ripe or rotting). These “food deserts” or lack of access to healthy, affordable, high quality food, are common in low-income, inner-city communities.

About the LA Conservation Corps:
The Los Angeles Conservation Corps is a 501(c)3 private non-profit organization founded in 1986 by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Trade Ambassador Mickey Kantor.  Its primary mission is to provide underprivileged young adults and school-aged youth with opportunities for success through job skills training, education and work experience with an emphasis on conservation and service projects that benefit the community.  The LA Corps is a national leader in workforce development and alternative education for inner-city youth and is currently the largest urban conservation corps in the nation with a full-time staff of over 150 employees serving 16,000 young people each year.  For more information, please visit www.lacorps.org.

About First 5 LA

First 5 LA oversees the Los Angeles County allocation of funds from Proposition 10, which added a 50-cent tax on tobacco products sold in California. Funds raised help pay for health care, education and child development programs for children from the prenatal stage to age 5 and their families. First 5 LA’s mission is to increase the number of young children who are physically and emotionally healthy, safe and ready to learn. For more information, please visit www.First5LA.org.

 

A CALL FOR GREEN FINGERS IN KOREATOWN

Residents and Volunteers Invited to Help Build First
Children’s Community Garden at Workday Event
This Saturday, October 13th from 8am – 2pm 

October 9, 2012, Los Angeles – Koreatown families will join members of the LA Conservation Corps this Saturday at 965 S. Mariposa to build three dozen raised garden beds where they soon will begin growing organic fruits and vegetables. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Mario Peregrino at 213.797.6547.

The garden project has been made possible thanks to a grant from First 5 LA, and an extraordinary team of garden and health experts who are spearheading the “Little Green Fingers” initiative, a multi-year program that will create sustainable community gardens for young children to help address the obesity epidemic among kids in LA County by providing free, locally grown sources of healthy food.

Dozens of local families recently came together to participate in three public community design workshops where they worked with landscape architects Glen Dake and Miguel Luna to create their vision for the garden. In addition to the raised beds, the community determined the garden will include fruit trees and feature a toddler’s shaded play area, including a water-play table and seating area.  A second childrens area will feature garden beds growing crops especially for youngsters and plants grown to create spaces for kids to play and hide.

The Celtic Cross, Inc, an organization closely affiliated with St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, a 100 year old church with a strong Japanese American heritage, has generously agreed to host the first garden on a plot of vacant land adjacent to the church.

The LA Corps and its garden partners also are seeking local corporate sponsors and volunteers who can help fund and program ongoing cooking and nutrition programs for families.  To learn more about ways to help, contact the Little Green Fingers Outreach Coordinator Ruben Aronin at rub...@betterworldgroup.com.

The local Koreatown Subway located at 3323 Wilshire Blvd. (store #28617, now open for breakfast at 5am) has generously donated food for the volunteers.

Little Green Fingers is focused on addressing the fact that poor access to healthy foods is making LA children sick and obese.

• 1 out of 5 children in Los Angeles County are overweight or obese.

• More than 30 percent of Latino children in LA have medical disorders that can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life. These conditions have been linked to high consumption of refined grains and added sugar, coupled with low intake of fruits and vegetables.

• In South and East Los Angeles, only one grocery store exists for every 6,000 residents (versus West

Los Angeles where there is one for every 3,800 residents).

• Only 18 percent of East LA grocery stores sell fresh fruits and vegetables of good quality (i.e.

not over-ripe or rotting). These “food deserts” or lack of access to healthy, affordable, high quality food, are common in low-income, inner-city communities.

###

About Little Green Fingers:
First 5 LA awarded a five-year grant to the Los Angeles Conservation Corps to help address the obesity epidemic in Los Angeles by creating a children’s garden collaborative for young children and their families called “Little Green Fingers.” The initiative will construct eight community gardens in underserved communities throughout Los Angeles County between July 2012 and July 2014. The gardens will provide a minimum of 6,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables each year and will feature on site amenities and programs targeting families with children ages 0-5.  The Little Green Fingers team of experts includes: First 5 LA - providing funding for planning and implementation; Los Angeles Conservation Corps program oversight and garden construction; Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trustland acquisition, community organizing and leadership development; Nicole Gatto -epidemiologist and health science researcher at UCLA’s School of Public Health overseeing project evaluation; GDML: Glen Dake and Miguel Lunalandscape architecture and community organizing; UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Programgardening and nutrition education; and The Better World Groupstrategic outreach and communications.

About the LA Conservation Corps:
The Los Angeles Conservation Corps is a 501(c)3 private non-profit organization founded in 1986 by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Trade Ambassador Mickey Kantor.  Its primary mission is to provide underprivileged young adults and school-aged youth with opportunities for success through job skills training, education and work experience with an emphasis on conservation and service projects that benefit the community.  The LA Corps is a national leader in workforce development and alternative education for inner-city youth and is currently the largest urban conservation corps in the nation with a full-time staff of over 150 employees serving 16,000 young people each year.  For more information, please visit http://www.lacorps.org/.

 

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