The John Flowers Memorial Garden @ Earline Patrice Park, commonly known as Mansion st Park, in Poughkeepsie has 8 garden beds that were put in place almost a decade ago by local organizations. The garden is constantly utilized by the public–especially in the summer while the park serves as a recreational home for the local community. It is currently being run by Black leadership with support from community volunteers and local organizations.
Most of the agricultural projects funded in Poughkeepsie are held by white hands that are alienated from the community. We are seeking resources to sustain one of the few Black-led public garden efforts in the city. We have developed relationships in the area with community members, city officials and workers, and vulnerable populations, such as the housing insecure and formerly incarcerated, who have been historically under-resourced and under served in the city of Poughkeepsie. This grant will help materially support the work at the garden to demonstrate holistic community action, educate park goers about gardening, and support small gestures of goodwill.
Currently, we have to lug water in buckets to the garden each day from miles away. We are in need of funds for a watering system so that we can have water onsite. To sustain the garden into the future without much outside input, we want to build a compost structure. The community garden can be a space for people to bring their food scraps as a small step towards reducing landfill waste.
We also hope to expand our community education work. With a more developed garden, we will organize community days for park-goers to learn about and try plants from our garden. We would like to set up a water station to provide freshly brewed iced tea made with mint and herbs from our garden and provide snacks/food in July of 2023.
With our excess mint, we intend to demonstrate a skincare and herb workshop, where park folks will be able to take products like toothpaste, deodorant and serum
Funded by Poughkeepsie, NY (July 2023)