Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Community Advisory Board Meeting – "Greening our Community" Part 1

Last week the Newark Community Advisory Board held its first meeting of the year at the Center for Law and Justice at Rutgers-Newark. The evening kicked off with a rousing welcome form Judge Victoria Pratt (“the Community Court Judge”) and a review of Newark Community Solutions’ 2013 Annual Report. But the highlights were the updates from several community gardeners in the City’s Adopt-A-Lot program. Since 2012, Newark Community Solutions has partnered with Adopt-A-Lot, the Greater Newark Conservancy, and the Newark Community Garden Coalition to help offenders complete their community service obligations. The typical Newark Community Solutions participant receives a court sentence which includes social services and community service in lieu of paying a fine. Adopt-a-Lot owners, all of whom are Newark residents, lease vacant lots from the City for one dollar a year with the promise of improving the land as a community garden or urban farm. Newark Community Solutions’ participants work with these gardeners by clearing debris and preparing the planting beds.