Growing Together – Mentoring Youth to Create Healthy Communities
This project was funded with a mini-grant from the Healthy Eating Active Living Collaborative and the Network for a Healthy California. In the summer of 2011, Alchemist partnered with University of CA, Davis Medical Center Family physicians to mentor 10 youth from St. Hope Academy/Sac High to be healthy eating advocates for their community. The youth were educated about basic nutrition and healthy living. They then provided nutrition education activities for clients of the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services in the Oak Park area.
Alchemist’s youth interns shared nutrition information with over 600 clients of Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. Through one-on-one conversations, fun interactive activities, and healthy food samples, our team of youth nutrition interns educated hundreds on issues of sodium, cholesterol, sugar, snacking, portion sizes, fiber, understanding nutrition labels, and planning a healthy plate.
Check out Dr. Rachel Hollander, Alchemist’s Board Secretary, on the public access show, Soapbox
Community Visioning and Planning
Alchemist enjoys working with community groups and neighborhood associations to help them envision the future of their neighborhoods. We held such a workshop in May 2006 in the Alkali and Mansion Flats neighborhood. Outcomes from the workshop were the genesis of the Urban Farm Stand project. The event was a great success, with over 25 residents participating in a visioning session for the community, with a focus on the future of 12th St.
The event included workstations on transportation, housing, design & zoning, and civic and commercial spaces, as well as presentations on redevelopment activities and the general plan update.
Local architect Greg Taylor made a presentation on urban planning and design in Melbourne, Australia. Alchemist facilitators began the workshop by asking participants what they like the most about their neighborhood. Participants conveyed great appreciation for the historic qualities, the variety of architecture and housing choices, and the diversity of the residents. Many participants expressed great enthusiasm for the new community garden and pointed to numerous community benefits resulting from the garden. When asked about the future of the neighborhood, residents made it clear that they are eager to see development proceed, and voiced strong convictions that this can be accomplished while protecting the unique character of Alkali & Mansion Flats.
Residents envision the 12th St. Commercial Corridor as a mixed-use, mixed-income and pedestrian- friendly neighborhood core, with developments that harmonize with the surrounding buildings while increasing residential density. Participants voiced a strong desire for opportunities and programs to help renters move into home-ownership. Locally owned, unique, healthy, organic and ethnically diverse restaurants and businesses are also desired for 12th St. If your community or neighborhood organization is interested in an Alchemist-led visioning session, please contact us for more information!
Alchemist built upon this visioning process in Alkali Flat in 2010. Working with a group of UC Davis Community and Regional Development students, Alchemist hosted a resident meeting at Globe Mills (Affordable senior housing and lofts) to assess resident interest in, and need for, a continued Urban Farm Stand in their community. Although there is strong interest in having an Urban Farm Stand at Globe Mills, funding remains a challenge preventing implementation.
Past Urban Farm Stands:
Alkali Flat Urban Farm Stand 2007-2009
River Garden Estates Farm Stand 2008
Lemon Hill Boys & Girls Club/Greenway Village Urban Farm Stand and food box 2008
McClatchy Park Urban Farm Stand 2009
Bryte & Broderick Urban Farm Stand 2010-Present