Photos courtesy of HACoLA.
The Growing Experience Urban Farm (TGE), a seven-acre parcel located inside the Carmelitos Housing Community in North Long Beach, received the Green Leadership Award from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, officials announced Tuesday.
TGE is a project under the Housing Authority of Los Angeles (HACoLA). It is designed to provide fresh, affordable food to an economically disadvantaged area of the city and create educational training opportunities to local residents.
Green Leadership Awards are given to programs and projects that work to improve environmental sustainability in Los Angeles County.
“Through our well established community partnerships, and forward thinking, The Growing Experience is able to encourage healthy living and social responsibility,” Sean Rogan, HACoLA executive director, said in a statement. “We appreciate the county recognizing our tremendous efforts to promote a greener environment.”
Between 2014 to 2016, TGE launched several programs to meet the growing demand for fresh, locally sourced produce, provide education on drought tolerant landscaping and renewable energy resources and curb the amount of garbage ending up in landfills.
TGE introduced four long-term initiatives including water efficient Aquaponics and Vertical Towers Growing System, a demonstration on drought tolerant plants that have nutritional or medicinal benefits, a food waste composting program to reduce food waste, which formed in collaboration with the City of Long Beach’s Office of Sustainability and local restaurants, and its use of solar energy through the "Acts of Sunshine" program partnership with solar system designer and installer, Horizon Solar Power, last year.
The aquaponics system grows three to four times more produce than traditional growing methods, according to TGE’s website.
These long-term programs will provide replicable solutions to environmental challenges throughout the Los Angeles area.