Dunbar Site Picture 2

The Dunbar Garden was founded in 1992. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and two acre outdoor classroom. The garden's mission is to preserve the relationship between education and the natural world by providing hands-on, outdoor learning activities to students, teenagers, and adults. One key focus is teaching children the origin of the foods they eat. There are over 150 hands on gardening and environmental education classes taught at the garden each year. Dunbar serves students attending the nearby Gibbs International Magnet Elementary School and Dunbar Magnet Middle School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The garden functions as an innovative public/private partnership between Little Rock Parks and Recreation, Dunbar Community Garden, Inc., and teachers at Gibbs Elementary and Dunbar Middle School. 

The Dunbar Garden is a source of fresh, locally grown produce for communities throughout central Arkansas. A variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, eggs, and honey are available for purchase throughout the year. The garden's clientele ranges from casual passers-by to local restaurants to a local church/day center for the homeless. The garden is proud to provide free, hands-on, outdoor education to people of all ages and walks of life in Central Arkansas.  Dunbar is located in downtown Little Rock near mixed income and low-income neighborhoods.  Because of the location, the garden serves people from a wide range of backgrounds in addition to students from the nearby schools.  The garden is a place where everyone feels welcome and we are able to teach a lot of different kinds of people of all ages about farming and gardening

Primary beneficial partner organizations include Gibbs Elementary School, Dunbar Magnet Middle School, and Canvas Community Church. Canvas Community is essentially is a church/day center for the homeless and Dunbar's most active community partner aside from the schools. This organization has a designated plot at Dunbar where they grow their own food. With the assistance of garden staff, groups of Canvas members come to the garden throughout the year to sow seeds and grow food.  When their crops are ready to harvest it is then used for weekly dinners at the Canvas Community Center and garden staff helps prepare a portion of the dinner.  Other organizations/institutions that have benefitted from the garden are Williams Library, Our House, Lisa Academy, numerous summer school programs, and countless church groups.

Restaurants that have used garden produce in their business include The Root, Loblolly Creamery, Capitol Bar and Grill, Ciao Baci, Vino's Brew Pub, Hillcrest Artisan Meats, Dam Goode Pies, and more.

What we can gather from all of the positive things that Dunbar does for schools and communities throughout central Arkansas is that there is always a lot to be done. It is very important that Dunbar be an Arkansas GardenCorps site and be equipped with an Americorps/Arkansas GardenCorps service position because Americorps/Arkansas GardenCorps members know exactly how to get things done.

 

Presentation

 

Ethan Clarkson 2016 ARGC profile pic

Ethan Clarkson

Ethan apprenticed on a WWOOF farm in Elberton, GA for 2 seasons, and started/managed a (different) community garden in Little Rock called 'Plan-It! Earth Garden'. He worked on an organic Arkansas okra farm and an orchard up on Star Mountain, AR as well. Ethan believes he is a garden dork to the core.


Kayla Baker version 2 2016 ARGC profile pic

Kayla Baker

Kayla is from Eudora, AR, a small town in the southeast corner of Arkansas. While completing her service year with City Year, 2015- 2016, she noticed a need for educating the youth in her community about nutrition. She is looking forward to continuing to serve.

Katys Bio Picture

Katy Lydon

Katy was born and raised in Indialantic, Florida with her parents and two sisters. She attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where she received a BA in Anthropology and History in 2011. The summer before her senior year of college she began volunteering on a small organic farm called Our Community Farm Project. The farm provided a nearby community of refugees from Burundi with a direct link to their food source, a means to earn a supplemental income, and a way to maintain their culture. Her first gardening experience with Our Community Farm Project, and more recently on farms in Little Rock as well as other parts of the country, have shaped her views regarding food security and community. She believes that through garden-based education we can begin to create a connected, sustainable food system that improves access to healthy and affordable food.

Ariel Aaronson-Eves

Growing up in the Garden State, Ariel Aaronson-Eves was first exposed to gardening and composting by her parents, but it wasn't until she started exploring issues of global injustice in her early twenties that she realized how important these practices are. She began working for farmers, first through organizations that support small farmers, globally, and then directly on their farms. In January 2011, Ariel moved to Arkansas to be an education volunteer at Heifer International's Learning Center at Heifer Ranch, where she fell in love with farming and Arkansas. For the past two years she has been farming and gardening in both central and northwest Arkansas. She is excited to bring the skills she has acquired to Dunbar Garden, and for the opportunities it provides her with to help plants and people grow.

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Susan Alman

Susan was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas.  She graduated from Hendrix College in 2007 with a BA in studio art with an emphasis in black and white film photography.  She didn’t become interested in farming/gardening until after her time at Hendrix, but she has been informally educating herself on the subject for the past four years.  She believes that every person has a right to healthy, nutritious food options and that the importance of knowing how food grows and where food comes from is invaluable.

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Wednesday the 28th. .