Recognizing S:US Urban Farms
When The Nature Conservancy gives away plants to a fellow nonprofit and when a leading New York university asks an urban farming expert from that same nonprofit to participate in a panel discussion on urban agriculture it becomes clear that there is something very special is happening.
On May 25 The Nature Conservancy will be holding its Gala in Cipriani’s, NY and at that event the step-and-repeat background will be decorated by the lush green hues of a living wall of ferns. After the gala The Nature Conservancy will generously donate all 230 ferns to S:US Urban Farms where they can continue living and thriving. S:US is very grateful to The Nature Conservancy for gifting us with these plants in recognition of the stellar work our urban farms are doing to transform built up corners of New York City into living, breathing farms and gardens. S:US Urban Farms also impact the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and people with behavioral health challenges by teaching them how to become urban farmers, providing them with tools to improve wellness outcomes and achieve their personal and professional goals. Our farming programs touch over 300 individuals each year, providing therapeutic horticulture, nutritional programming, and employment opportunities to the individuals we serve – through workshops, field experiences, and our network of community farms and garden spaces.
We were also honored when New York University (NYU) asked S:US to participate in a panel discussion on the social challenges of urban agriculture. Our Urban Farms Manager, Mike Hollis (pictured right at our Marcy Hart farm, and below that seated on panel, second from right), represented S:US as a keynote panelist for the Fair Food Festival at NYU. He was joined on the panel by famed nutritionist and food security expert Marion Nestle, Just Food Policy and Advocacy Director Nadia Johnson, and NYU Supervisor for Sustainable
Landscaping George Reis. The discussion focused on the role of urban agriculture in the New York City food system, with questions ranging from the impact of federal policy and funding on urban agriculture projects, the importance of education on health and nutrition, and the challenges of financing urban agriculture and securing space given the status of the NYC real estate market.
We are proud that a major New York university has recognized Mike as an expert in urban farming and the work he continues to do to use horticulture as a tool to improve wellness outcomes of the individuals we serve and help them to achieve their personal and professional goals.