The long-awaited Brownsville Community Garden took root Sept. 22 with music, food, fruit-tree giveaways — and a whole bunch of hometown spirit.
The community event came as a result of NFL Green and Miami-Dade County teaming to bring sustainability to Brownsville. Alongside Verizon and the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee, community leaders and neighbors gathered for the kickoff of the Super Bowl community-impact project that aims to transform Glenwood Park, located at 3511 NW 43 St. in Miami, into a thriving community garden.
Neighborhood residents and volunteers from all across the Miami area kicked in to build planter boxes, filling them with soil, plant fruits and vegetables, as well as “give away fruit trees.”
The idea for the garden was planted by FIU professor Dr. Iqbal Akhtar, who won a grant to transform the park. Looking for a way to unite and better his community, Akhtar believes a community garden is just the answer. Volunteers were on hand to aid in the initial planting — but maintaining the garden will be the job of the park’s neighbors.
These types of environmental projects have been a key component to the management of the Super Bowl for more than 25 years, part of a larger program of community events and initiatives implemented each year by the NFL and Super Bowl Host Committee to leave a positive benefit in each Super Bowl host community.
The Brownsville Community Garden is a volunteer-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing healthy foods, gardening knowledge, environmental education to area residents here in this Miami neighborhood. Prior to the event, organizers worked hard in order to partner with willing organizations to fulfill their mission of making available healthy foods and lifestyle options for this known “food desert” in the heart of Miami.
Sponsors and supporters also included FIU, Urban GreenWorks, The Children’s Trust Youth Advisory Committee, SoFloMoPros, and The Miami Foundation. For information, visit www.brownsvillegarden.miami.