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Growing community

Posted on May 26, 2013, by

How do you fill out an employment history when you’ve spent the past 10 years in prison? Or explain a spotty job record caused by drug addiction? A job training program at Riverview Gardens has been the answer for some.

About 30 adults and 15 high school students have gotten training in job and workplace skills at the urban farm in Appleton. The goal is for a lot more to follow.

That’s just one way the food production going on at the former golf course is helping the community, and vice versa. The innovative program was helped along with a $60,000 Community Foundation grant that matched a national grant from the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.

More than 400 people have gone through orientation to volunteer at Riverview. Produce grown there will be offered at new neighborhood far markets and has been showing up as local food at a number of area restaurants. Two tons more were donated to food pantries.

People have been walking, bike riding, skiing and snowshoeing on the 72 acres in the center of Appleton, and 55 bird species have been identified on the property.

Communication Specialist Dave Horst administers the Environmental Sustainability Fund. Email him at [email protected].
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