Videos tagged as 'youngstown'

Urban and Rural Cooperation

Jim Converse and Pat Rosenthal from Common Wealth in Youngstown describe their efforts to link urban and rural communities through their north-side farmers market and planned food incubator. Converse describes how their farmers market has both re-vitalized the Wick Park neighborhood. The farmers market has brought a variety of rural and urban growers together. The farmers market itself has provided the seed-bed out of which their community food incubator and shared-used kitchen facility grew. Converse and Rosenthal also reflect on how farmers markets and their incubator provide a space where rural and urban populations can gain more mutual respect. A we look to grow our regional food system, fostering quality urban and rural interactions will be critical.

Workforce Food Center Concept

Common Ground Church Pastor Steve Fortenberry, who also serves as the Executive Director of Goodness Grows, describes a Workforce Food Center concept as a way to create economic opportunities while improving workplace health and wellness through improved food access. Steve describes the increasing costs of poor health on the long-term competitiveness of the U.S. workforce. His concept involves working with an existing steel manufacturer to capture waste heat in a greenhouse that produces local food that is distributed to workers through a wellness program. This concept could work well with many manufacturing facilities in Northeast Ohio that can both invest in the wellness of their employees and productively utilize waste heat as a source of heat for extending the growing season. 

Urban Agrarian Commons

We travel to the Stuart's Place near the Wick Park neighborhood area in downtown Youngstown, near the Youngstown State University. Pat Rosenthal, Executive Director and Jim Converse, Community Development Director of Common Wealth, Inc. take us through a recently acquired property. The property includes several upstairs apartments and an old warehouse space and restaurant. Jim and Pat are working on an effort to re-purpose these properties to create a mixed-used facility that includes a food coop, a restaurant, and a community food incubator. The space will serve both urban and rural entrepreneurs, providing an outlet to process and preserve agricultural surplus from rural farmers and to support small enterprises for urban residents. Their vision for the space reveals the importance of connecting the needs of both urban and rural communities. Their space will provide an asset to serve the neighbors in the area while fostering new connections with the broader Mahoning Valley region. Their site also includes an urban demonstration site being developed for education and training by a farmer from Geneva. 

Post-Industrial Education

This short film opens up with Presley Gillespie, Executive Director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, talks about a large demonstration urban farm. He talks about how they are re-purposing vacant land for urban agriculture as a part of a larger community economic development strategy relevant to many post-industrial cities. We travel to the site of the urban demonstration farm with Maurice Small, Director of Urban Agriculture for YNDC, who shares some of his urban gardening resources with young residents from the neighborhood who have been working with him all summer to install five new urban farms across Youngstown. We should think about mobile plastic crates of books and resources for neighborhoods to better learn how to utilize vacant lots productively as a food source and economic opportunity. Can we re-purpose empty houses as neighborhood libraries and resource centers for youth and residents as Maurice suggests here?

Garden School

Maurice Small, Urban Agriculture Director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, teaches a workshop at an Idora Park urban garden in Youngstown, Ohio. Maurice connects the dots between taking care of garden produce and taking care of each other. "Is Youngstown going to wither any more?" Maurice asks at the start of his workshop and then teaches people how to take care of their food so that it doesn't wither before reaching markets. He challenges the residents of this neighborhood to think big in terms of what Youngstown can do to begin to feed itself, increase health, make money, and grow stronger communities. We see here the ways in which urban gardens can become schools of the future, creating a hands-on learning environment and a space for people to connect across races, ages, and socio-economic conditions. 

Goodness Grows in North Lima

This short video shows a collaboration between Flying High in Youngstown Ohio and Goodness Grows, a non-profit organization focused on promoting regenerative agriculture and food systems. Goodness Grows is part of the Common Ground Church in North Lima, which is located on the former site of the 20 acre Mellinger Landscaping company. The collaboration featured here shows how the farm is used to teach basic business skills and micro-enterprise development to ex-offenders who are receiving their GED's and moving toward higher education or stable employment. Pastor Steve Fortenberry talks about the efforts to link his faith community with broader efforts to connect job training with local agriculture. It also provides an example of how rural and urban communities can collaborate. 

Youngstown 2010: Neighborhood Green

The Youngstown 2010 plan emerged through a community driven process. It's goal is to focus on the renewal and restoration of Youngstown's neighborhoods, communities, and local economy following a long struggle with economic dis-investment and population loss. Part of a "right-sizing" strategy, the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) is installing urban gardens across Youngstown on vacant or foreclosed properties. These gardens bring neighborhoods together, increase food access and heath, and contribute to long-term property values. Hear perspectives from YNDC Executive Director Presley Gillespie about the many ways that these gardens can improve food access, increase property values, and contribute to a larger collaborative between other rust-belt cities in the region. 

A Place for All Ages

Jen Cancio, an AmeriCorps volunteer, talks about growing up near Youngstown and returning to work with urban gardens as a way to re-vitalize neighborhoods that have struggled with abandoned properties. This video also captures the ways that gardens can connect adults and children. See what the children have to say about the garden and their own "kids only" gardening spaces. This video was filmed at one of several urban gardens installed by residents on vacant lots in the Idora neighborhood. This is a part of the Youngstown 2010 plan and features the work of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation to re-build neighborhoods through gardening.

Transition Times: Seeding Hope through Gardens

This captures the real impact and transformation that urban gardens can have on blighted neighborhoods, including this neighborhood in Youngstown, Ohio. Juxtaposed to the struggles faced by residents that remain in neighborhoods that are largely vacated, gardens re-connect neighbors and beautify blighted neighborhoods and give residents a sense of hope.