Gardening Programmer Wanted

Do you love spending time outside working in the garden? Teaching others how to grow food? Working with volunteers, students and community members? Or know somebody who does? Well, we have great news! The Faulkner County Library is accepting applications for a part-time Gardening Programmer staffer. See below for the job description, fill the application (find it here or at the library) and send it in to john@fcl.com--or mail to 1900 Tyler St, Conway AR 72032. Please attach a resume

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Job Description: The Faulkner County Library gardening programmer will assist with

maintenance of the garden, planning planting and crop rotation, advertising for events,

increasing outreach by collaborating with other community organizations,

record keeping, increasing visibility by outreach and advertising, and coordinating

educational opportunities with the library and partner organizations.

Garden duties: garden development and maintenance activities, developing

educational signage, planting, watering, weeding, record-keeping, planning workdays,

updating website and social media accounts.

Educational duties: facilitate at keast two weekly work days, educate volunteers, give

presentations and tours of the garden, help with organizing events, coordinate

educational activities with the adult and children's programmers at least once every

other month. Plan nutrition education lesson plans for weekly children’s garden club and

explore other nutrition education opportunities for adults.

Duties related to improving access to garden-grown produce: Friday food

pantry donation delivery, record keeping, coordinating at least one cooking/nutrition

workshop, maintaining hoop houses during the winter, and providing healthy snacks to

participants of the children’s garden club and adult programming activities.

Academic and Experience Qualifications: Must be a high school graduate or

have a GED.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required: Organic gardening, computer and social

media skills, ability to work with children and organize groups of people, some

mechanical skills to maintain tools and irrigation system.

Physical, Emotional, and Intellectual Demands: Ability to tolerate heat and

humidity, lift 50lb, good social, verbal and written communication skills, ability to work in

groups, facilitate workdays, work with people of all ages and backgrounds

This is a part-time position of 20 hours a week at $11 an hour 

Please attach a resume with your application


Why Give on Arkansas Gives?

Arkansas Gives is coming up and this we are focusing all our energy into raising funds for the Faulkner County Urban Farm Project, our community garden!

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Arkansas Gives is a statewide single day of giving, when people are encouraged to support their favorite nonprofits by donating online through the Arkansas Gives website. 100% of the funds we raise on April 7th between 8am and 8pm will benefit the Urban Farm Project and qualify us for prizes and bonus dollars. 

The garden, located behind the public library in Conway, started in 2010 as three small plots of land. Since then, the community has transformed it into a full fledged urban farm that encourages people to get their hands dirty and learn about the importance of growing, cooking and eating local food.

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Through our programs like the weekly children's garden club, our annual festivals, workshops, seed swaps and community outreach events, the garden benefits a very wide and diverse population. In the last two years, we have donated over 500 pounds of fresh produce to the St. Peter's Food Pantry, provided garden-based nutrition education to more than 200 kids, logged over 500 hours of volunteer service, and reached hundreds of people during our festivals and special events.

We need your help to continue providing these free services to our community, and to keep growing this important educational asset for our community. The garden brings people together, teaches them how to better care for their plants, their health, each other, and the planet! We hope that on April 7th, we can count on your support to keep growing the love for our beloved community garden.

 


"How high's the water, mama?"

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“Five feet high and risin’…” Actually, the Arkansas River at Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 271.2 feet this morning, and with more rain on the way, it’s expected to rise another eight feet before the end of the week. Unfortunately, this means continued flooding for already saturated areas. Needless to say, it’s been tough on farmers and gardeners alike.

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The Pleasures of Spring

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Carrots, various greens, radishes, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, herbs! It’s already a month into spring, and the folks at the Urban Farm Project have been busy! Besides the garden behind the library, we’re also planting at the Women’s Shelter of Central Arkansas, the Bethlehem House, and Faulkner County Day School. In addition, the Urban Farm project provided plants for AETN’s filming of “Science in the Garden: Using School Gardens to Deliver Core Curricula.” We’re so excited about partnering with these wonderful organizations to increase access to fresh, local food in our community.

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Thank you

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Thank you, thank you and thank you. Our Arkansas Gives campaign was a total success, we were able to raise $2,157 for the Urban Farm Project and The Locals. It was so exciting to see the number of donors and dollars increase throughout the day. We are very grateful for all the shares, likes and retweets that went out on our behalf on April 2nd. Thank you so much for being our advocates and avid supporters!

In just one day, Arkansans raised a total of $1,968,953 for nonprofits and charitable causes. This is not only amazing but something we should all feel very proud of. Everyone stepped up to the challenge and helped organizations like ours raise funds to further our mission. Thank you for believing in our cause, we cannot express how grateful we feel to be part of this community. 

Your support makes a huge difference and your participation is always essential to achieve our goals. We will keep you updated about the Urban Farm Project's application for next year's Arkansas GardenCorps Service Member and The Locals pop-up schedule.

Thanks again from Lacey S, Sean O, Crystal B, Sandra L, Beth N, Shawn G, and the rest of the Urban Farm Project and The Locals team.


Why GardenCorps?

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Arkansas GardenCorps is a program of the Arkansas Children's Hospital Childhood Obesity Prevention, its mission is to promote the use of school and community gardens to increase environmental awareness and sustainable agriculture practices in Arkansas communities. GardenCorps members serve in school and community gardens across the state to develop and maintain gardens, conduct garden-based education, and build volunteer and community support for sustainability of gardens.

In 2014, the Faulkner County Urban Farm Project became an AR GardenCorps service site, and has been hosting Crystal Bowne since September. Since Crystal starting serving the garden has seen dramatic improvements in its ability to reach into the community. The garden, which used to be ran by volunteers a couple hours a week, is now staffed for three hours, five days a week. A more consistent schedule has also allowed Crystal to coordinate more activities with the library’s adult and children’s program directors, such as a children's scarecrow making activity, a seed swap, a green reader book club and a children's garden club. 

Thanks to Crystal, we have been able to extend our growing season into the winter and donate more food to the St. Peter's Food Pantry (225 pounds to date!). She has also started collaborating with the Women’s Shelter of Central Arkansas, the Faulkner County Day School and the Bethlehem House to start and maintain their own gardens.

For all of these reasons and more we are looking forward to hosting another Service Member in 2015-2016 and we need your help to make that happen. The Arkansas GardenCorps program requires a $5,500 match to host a full-time service member and we have till April 6th to make our goal. Click here to help us raise funds on April 2nd through the Arkansas Gives website

For more info on Arkansas Gardencorps click here


Arkansas Gives

Click on the Banner!

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Dear friends and supporters please help us spread the word!

On Thursday April 2, we are participating in ArkansasGives, a one-day online giving event. Between 8am and 8pm on April 2nd you can help us raise funds to advance our organization's mission through the Arkansas Gives website. With your help we can qualify to win up to $5000 in bonus dollars. Your support makes a huge difference! 

On April 2nd we are raising funds to support The Locals and the Urban Farm Project

Your donations will enable us to continue hosting an Arkansas GardenCorps service member at the Urban Farm Project. Our service member is able to increase our outreach into the community, offer educational programming and donate more food to our local food pantry. To learn more about our Arkansas GardenCorps Service Member click here.

This Spring and Summer you will find The Locals popping-up in different places around town bringing you exciting events, such as live music, art workshops and pop-up farmers market events. You can help us make Conway a more unique, vibrant and exciting place to live. To learn more about our pop-up events click here

 


Snow Daze

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Winter finally arrived in Central Arkansas. Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen several snow days and many snowmen (and women and children) in Conway. We’re happy to report our hoop houses endured the storms, and the veggies inside appear to be quite happy. Here’s hoping they can make it through a few more days of bitter cold temperatures.

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The Wonder of Seeds

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It’s time to start seeds for spring planting. The University of Central Arkansas’s Sociology Department loaned us space in their anthropology lab to start our seedlings this year. Our greenhouse isn’t suitable for that. Dr. Bowne and several members of his Environmental Anthropology class are helping us out. We sure do appreciate their generosity!

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Volunteer Interview

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Below is an interview from November 2014 with Lacey Starkey (far left in the photo), one of our most dedicated volunteers and board member.

Enterprising Volunteer helps Urban Farm Project take root

Enterprising Volunteers - An ongoing Hi! series highlighting the volunteer efforts of Humana associates across the enterprise...

Humana Facilitator Lacey Starkey has discovered a harvest of personal and community benefits growing in a garden near her home in Conway, Arkansas.

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