Keep Mobile Beautiful (KMB) has been awarded 2 grants totaling $6,000 to establish an urban orchard behind the Strickland Youth Center. Approximately 100 fruit trees will be planted and tended by probationary youth and community volunteers on the Strickland campus adjacent to the Three Mile Creek Greenway. The project will beautify the campus and greenway, teach at-risk youth valuable job skills and provide healthy food options to the Carver neighborhood that includes many low income and minority residents. The grants were provided by Keep America Beautiful, UPS and Alabama Power Foundation.
Good news from Keep Mobile Beautiful
Keep Mobile Beautiful (KMB) is joining forces with Strickland Youth Center (SYC) to establish an urban orchard that will provide fresh fruit to neighborhood residents and job skills to at-risk youth. Funds for the project come from a $5,000 grant from Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and United Parcel Service (UPS) and a $1,000 grant from Alabama Power Foundation’s Grass Roots Program. KMB was one of only 12 recipients awarded a UPS Community Tree and Recovery Tree Planting Grant offered exclusively to Keep America Beautiful Affiliates throughout the country.
This winter, KMB and community partners will plant more than 100 fruit producing trees on the Strickland Campus located along the Three Mile Creek Greenway. At-risk probationary youth from the Center will tend the orchard with the help of KMB volunteers and personnel from UPS and Alabama Power. The trees will provide healthy food options to residents in the surrounding Carver neighborhood that includes low-income and minority residents. Neighbors and teens will also benefit from the educational components that focus on healthy eating made available through collaborations with Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Mobile Master Gardeners and Mobile Urban Growers.
Judge Edmond G. Naman, an eighteen-year veteran of the Mobile County Family Court System and a strong advocate for the urban orchard, sees the project as a logical extension of the Center’s “Grow UP” gardening program and a win-win for the community.
“With this expansion of our transitional programming, our teens will have the chance to earn horticulture and agriculture certifications furthering their opportunities in the job market,” said Naman. “Mobile County is saturated with
natural industries including botany laboratories, organic food production nurseries, and landscape providers seeking reliable, capable and trained individuals. Industry needs, coupled with non-profit collaborations such as this, prepare our teens for productivity.”
In addition to funds for tree plantings, local affiliates work with UPS employees who provide volunteer support to plant the trees and fulfill other community improvement projects.
Helen Lowman, Keep America Beautiful president and CEO said, “The UPS Foundation has been focused on this issue for years through its global tree-planting initiatives. Keep America Beautiful is proud to be among the non-profit organizations partnering with UPS to meet this fundamental global challenge.”
Keep Mobile Beautiful president Dianne Martin said that the UPS grant, combined with the Grass Roots grant from Alabama Power, will fund the purchase of the trees, amend the soil, and fund equipment, nutrients and water.
“Trees will not only beautify the SYC campus and provide job-skills for the teens, they will help sequester levels of carbon dioxide and provide nearby residents with access to healthy food sources in their own neighborhood, currently identified as a food desert due to the lack of nutritional options available,” said Martin.
Keep Mobile Beautiful is a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping Mobile County clean, green and beautiful. For more information on this project and others, visit the website, keepmobilebeautiful.org.
About Keep Mobile Beautiful (KMB):
Founded in 1986, KMB gained its non-profit status in 1992. The mission has always been to motivate Mobilians to take greater individual responsibility for the community environment. Formerly a department of The City of Mobile, KMB is now a separate non-profit organization serving all Mobile County by assisting in community clean-ups, beautification efforts, educational programs, recycling contests in the schools, and planting trees and azaleas. These special projects are funded through grants, in-kind contributions and individual/corporate contributions. Follow KMB on Facebook. Donate and take action at keepmobilebeautiful.org.
About Keep America Beautiful (KAB) :Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful strives to end littering, improve recycling and beautify America’s communities. KAB believes everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.
About Alabama Power Foundation :
The Alabama Power Foundation is a Powerful source of good. Formed with donations from Alabama Power shareholders, the Alabama Power Foundation benefits Alabama residents through a number of different initiatives. Their mission is to spread good throughout Alabama to the people who need it most. See https://powerofgood.com