Annual Report It was so nice to be able to grow our own clean, organic vegetables and knowing what we put into our body. We are so glad that Grow Portland exists and that we can participate in community gardening. We love the garden and meeting other people. Thank you for making it available! â€” Grow Portland Community Gardener
Grow Portlandâ€™s mission is to improve the health of people and the environment through urban gardening. We are a 501c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people to grow healthy food. Our work enhances the urban environment and connects low-income families with natural spaces. We develop urban gardening opportunities with a special focus on improving the lives of refugees, immigrants and people of color. Grow Portland is especially committed to serving East Portland, the most ethnically diverse and lowest-income area in our city. We have an eight-year track record building productive garden spaces and partnerships. In 2017, Grow Portland is leading school and community garden projects at 12 sites in Multnomah County. We have partnerships with leading institutional partners including Portland Public School District, David Douglas School District, Oregon State University, Multnomah County Libraries and the City of Portland.
Enhancing Health and Sustainability
Grow Portland is a leader in communitybased stewardship of urban land. Many of our families have limited access to natural areas and natural foods. Our school and community gardens provide access to greenspace. Community gardens are a key source of organically grown produce and positive community interactions—research shows that supportive community networks are especially important to good health and living a long life. Our school gardens program increases knowledge of nutritious food and improves eating habits. Students take home extra vegetables to their families.
Supporting Immigrants and Refugees
Around 1,000 refugees are resettled to the Portland area each year from all over the world. Many are recovering from severe trauma and health issues. Grow Portland supports 100 immigrant and refugee families in our community gardens. For immigrant and refugee families, community gardens are a place to grow the vegetables and fruits they love from their home countries. Our gardens provide green spaces to get fresh air and exercise, relieve anxiety, and meet neighbors and fellow gardeners.
Creating Change in East Portland
Since our founding in 2010, we have invested over one million dollars in garden infrastructure and programming in Portland—primarily east of 82nd Avenue, Portland’s most diverse and highest poverty area. In East Portland and East County, we constructed or funded community garden construction at six sites. We are also partnering with the City of Portland Community Gardens Program to make five new community gardens a reality in East Portland—Grow Portland assessed 90 pieces of public land to find spaces that serve low-income and minority families close to where they live.
Community Gardens - Providing a place to grow organic food, get exercise, and form supportive connections with neighbors.
On average gardeners: • eat vegetables from their gardens four times per week • spend five hours per week gardening • meet five new people by participating in the garden • 100% report reduced stress and increased exercise from participating • 100% eat more vegetables as a result of participating • 95% save money as a result of participating—gardeners harvest around $500 worth of produce per year for each plot.
Grow Portland’s Garden School educators deliver monthly garden-
based lessons for 125 classrooms serving 3,000 students at seven ethnically diverse, low-income schools in the Portland Public and David Douglas school districts. Each student receives six hours of experiential education each year, and our program’s total annual impact is 18,000 instructional hours. At our partner schools, the average free and reduced lunch rate of the student body is 75% and about 2,000 participants are students of color, including 1,400 Black, Latino and Native American students.
Stronger Together: Featured Partnerships
Grow Portland shares our expertise with other groups seeking to develop programs and space for urban food production.
Oregon Food Bank requested Grow Portland’s skills to help restore a severely
degraded field at their NE 33rd Avenue headquarters. We helped fund garden construction, assess the soil, and led the cleanup, soil restoration and drip irrigation system installation to transform the land into a productive urban agriculture space. In the 2015-16 seasons, we led educational work sessions for over 1,100 participants, growing diverse vegetables crops for low-income families. With the land in good condition for the future, Grow Portland encouraged Mudbone Grown LLC to take over the use. This plot is now an important space for the Black community to grow healthy food together. Grow Portland has an ongoing partnership developing gardens with Outgrowing Hunger, a nonprofit who shares our goal of creating food-growing opportunities for those who need it most. Grow Portland helped fund or co-built three large urban gardens: the Neighborhoods Garden on 162nd Ave, a large garden in one of the city’s highest poverty and crime areas; the 139th Avenue Farm and Garden, a blighted acre Grow Portland restored; and the 150th Avenue garden, a space that will eventually include a City Park near SE Division Avenue area. These projects have been very important in the lives of resettled refugees from Bhutan and Burma, and Latino families. Several gardeners sell their organic produce throughout the area.
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Grow Portland Community Gardens Grow Portland Garden School
016-17 Major Funders
East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District
Oregon State University Extension Service
Oregon Department of Education Farm to School program
City of Portland Community Gardens Program
Herbert A. Templeton Foundation
Multnomah County Library
US Department of Agriculture Community Food Projects
East Metro STEAM Partnership
New Seasons Market
East County Church of Christ
Kaiser Permanente Employee Giving
Portland Public School District David Douglas School District
Oregon Community Foundation
$ 1 ,000 by Category Corporate contributions Individual contributions Foundation grants
Program & Earned income Government funding
I thought the vegetables were going to taste like nothing, but when I tried them they were really good! The program gave me tips about how I could make my own garden on my own.
- Fifth grader in Grow Portlandâ€™s Garden School program, Menlo Park Elementary School
Grow Portland 4815 NE 7th Avenue Portland, Oregon 97 11