We’ve asked several people outside of the city of Newburgh what they think of Newburgh and we keep hearing a reoccurring theme. Crime, drugs, gangs, violence some people we asked even joked about hiding their valuables before entering the city. Yet, what we didn’t hear was how Newburgh has a rich culture, history, diversity. Part of the reason for this is because of objective views falsifying the true beauty of this city.
How come we don’t get to read about the positive activities and the great organizations helping the community day after day? We hear about youth killing youth but what about the youth who are helping youth every day? We read about raids and gang intervention but what about jobs and gang prevention? What about the youth who volunteer their time everyday to better this community?
You see for too long Newburgh has been put into a box categorizing it as one of the worst cities to live in and in that process the youth have been outcaste and stereotyped. Because of this we’ve been omitted from the decision making process. Yet, according to statistics from 2000, as youth we hold 33% of the population. We are the vibrant seeds that help this city grow. We are the change that we’ve been waiting for here in this city.
As young leaders here in the community we refuse to stand aside and watch as our peers become a statistic for some sociology class. We will no longer be shunned and disregarded by outside sources when it comes to information on what’s really happening. We realize that we too are stake holders, holding equal weight at the table.
With that said we the Urban Farmers League are a youth led organization designed to combat environmental injustice, and social injustice by creating a platform for the youth to have equal participation in the future of our community. With the creation of Urban Farms we not only provide a space for youth to express but we are also able to provide the community with a high quality of life, mitigate environmental degradation and provide a space for organic food to flourish.
With the help of the community, partners, sponsors and donors listed in your press packets we plan to make La Vida Garden a beacon of light here in the center of the city. The title has words in English and Spanish to better represent the population here in the city. La Vida which means the life in Spanish, represents the good life that youth should have here in the city of Newburgh. By putting La Vida and Garden together we are showing the unity of cultures and ethnicities here on our site and in our garden.
La Vida Garden being only one of hopefully many gardens to come is going to be an agricultural resource for the people in the community, especially low income families in the surrounding area. We’ve voted as a board and have decided to grow Peppers, Tomatoes, Peaches, Herbs and Kale to name a few. We plan on having educational workshops, activities for youth and community events.
Our vision is that La Vida Garden will serve as model for future gardens we’d like to start throughout the community, each garden having its own theme. The theme for La Vida Garden will be shown through our cultural events. Other gardens we plan might be specifically for corn and showing movies.
Although we realize that we are taking on an ambitious project; we are ready for it and excited about it. We plan to show everyone at our opening that we can make a difference; we can make a positive change. We say to all the youth in the community, if not now then when? If not us, then who?
Thank You for coming!
The Urban Farmers League
Everyone practicing what needs to be said at the press conference
Presenting our information to the press and our supporters
Urban Farmers League taking a photo Jim Delaune of Orange Coutny Land Trust.
Thank you Vanissa W. Chan for the fantastic photos.