Sunday, October 12, 2014

Community Service Diary:
Water Conservation in the West Ward

The best community service projects are those that are both visible and meaningful to the community, and at the same time have a positive impact on the participants involved.  I think what took place at the Al'Maidah Organic Community Garden on Saturday October 11th was a perfect example of that formula.  The garden, located in Newark’s West Ward, is run by Ms. Latifa Abd-Hamid as part of Newark’s Adopt-A-Lot program.   NCS has worked with Ms. Latifa for years but on this date, working collaboratively with the City’s Office of Sustainability, the Al'Maidah Organic Community Garden hosted a workshop given by The Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, the research and outreach arm of Rutgers University.  The goal of the program, titled Water Conservation: Save Water & Money, is to teach urban gardeners to save and conserve water by using a cistern system.  After some garden clean-up and maintenance (followed by some of Ms. Latifa’s home brewed cinnamon mint herbal tea) participants were given a lesson in the mechanics of the system.  Next, participants took part in a hands-on learning session where they were instructed on how to create and operate a cistern in an urban garden setting.  Despite the rain and chilly temperatures the group remained engaged and asked a number of great questions. Ms. Latifa summed up the day with her sentiments, “I enjoyed myself immensely at our gathering in the garden and I just hope we have many many more.”

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