LA Conservation Corps

The LA Conservation Corps' primary mission is to provide at-risk young adults and school-aged youth with opportunities for success through job skills training, education and work experience with an emphasis on conservation and service projects that benefit the community.
Feb 11, 2014

East LA Learning Garden's New Garden Beds!

Corpsmembers working on our new garden beds
Corpsmembers working on our new garden beds

It has been a busy winter at our East Los Angeles Learning Garden! Our Corpsmembers worked at the garden leveling a new area for additional community garden beds. These garden beds will serve as both an outdoor classroom as well as working beds for the community of Boyle Heights.  In total, the crew excavated approximately 10 cubic yards of soil, constructed 13 (3’ X 6’) garden beds, and installed landscape fabric.  The LA Corps will be ordering soil to backfill the beds next month.

The crew also provided maintenance to the existing beds by removing weeds from the walking paths, repaired the decomposed granite walking path, fabricated and installed a bulletin board and provided general maintenance in the form of weed  and litter abatement. 

Being that harvesting season ended in October, the garden had no community harvest days since then. We will resume our Sunday Community Harvest days this month!

In total, 12 young adult corpsmembers received marketable job training while working at the East LA Learning Garden.  They learned how to operate equipment such as our bobcat and a walk-behind trencher, used multiple hand tools, learned plant and tree identification and light carpentry.

Thank you for continuing to make these opportunities possible for our corpsmembers and this urban garden thrive.

If you would like to make another contribution to the East LA Learning Garden, please consider donating on Wednesday, February 12th- the 1st Global Giving Bonus Day of 2014! Donations will be matched at 30% (until funds run out) and a $1000 award will be given to the project that as the most contributions on that day. We would be very grateful if you could share this Bonus Day information with your social networks.

If you’re interested in visiting our special garden, please contact me at tleung@lacorps.org or come by on our Harvest days, which take place on Sundays from 9am to 1pm. Remember to bring your baskets or reusable bag to take home some veggies!

Thank you again for all of your support!

Our growing garden
Our growing garden
Nurturing our newest plants
Nurturing our newest plants
We
We're looking forward to this month's harvest!

Links:

Jan 30, 2014

LA Corpsmember Prepared for New Work Opportunities

Work Readiness participant is Ready to interview
Work Readiness participant is Ready to interview

Your generous donations provide work readiness training and interview outfits for LA Corpsmembers. The LA Corps partnered with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce to provide two comprehensive work readiness trainings to 30 young adults. Thanks to generous donors like you, this project has built confidence and professionalism among young adults participating in the LA Conservation Corps. Christen Summers,* an LA Conservation corpsmember who recently took part in work readiness training, states she "is very grateful and excited to join a training that will help me now and in my future." She completed a professional portfolio and passed a professional mock interview. In addition to gaining new skills, she also received a gift card to obtain interview clothing. She has been a corpsmember for the last seven months and attends high school at The Education Corps. She works part-time while she attends school. Once she graduates from high school she will use the skills gained in the work readiness training to transition into full-time, living wage employment.

All participants received first hand tips from working professionals and prepared a personal portfolio. Each portfolio includes a resume and application for an employment opportunity of their choice. After completing a resume and application, each participant was interviewed by a working professional and given suggestions for improvement. Corpsmembers received a gift card to purchase interview clothing. They dressed professionally and made an excellent impression on the interviewers. Thanks to your generous support the LA Corps Transition team successfully trained 30 young adults for the working world! Interested in using your professional skills to make a difference? We need professionals to conduct professional mock interviews. Our next mock interview session is Thursday, February 27, 2014 from 8:30am to 12pm. For more information about volunteering, please contact Roxana Aguilar at raguilar@lacorps.org or (213) 840-1079.

Thank you for helping us prepare LA Conservation corpsmembers for work opportunities! Interested in continuing to support the LA Conservation Corps? Like us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/LACorps and support one of our global giving projects https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/the-sea-lab-marine-science-aquarium-fish-conservation/

Thank you,

Roxana Aguilar

Vocational Training Coordinator

*Name changed to protect participants identity

Work Readiness participant passed mock interview
Work Readiness participant passed mock interview
Jan 10, 2014

2013 Little Green Fingers Successes

In 2013, Little Green Fingers has been able to complete the construction of its first two community gardens (Mariposa-Nabi Garden in Koreatown and West Athens Victory Garden in South LA) designed especially for needy families with young children.

We’ve begun our innovative cooking and nutrition programming to help gardeners and their families learn how to eat healthier as well as recently launching www.LittleGreenFingersLA.org to highlight the initiative and to provide gardening and health resources for families. Thanks to significant regional media coverage on the initiative including KABC, KTLA, KMEX, Telemundo, LA Times, LA Sentinel, and La Opinion, we’ve been able to share the vision and impact of Little Green Fingers with hundreds of thousands of Southern Californians.

 

MARIPOSA-NABI GARDEN
The Mariposa-Nabi garden in Koreatown, which just celebrated its first anniversary, is thriving and was recently highlighted on Univision’s national morning program where it was named “the healthiest garden in the world.” Recently, we completed the first cooking & nutrition program for more than 20 families that consisted of a series of five cooking classes where moms and dads learned how to prepare healthy and nutritious meals. In addition to preparing a meal for more than 80 people to enjoy, the families were also sent home with the complete food ingredients to prepare each meal for their families at home. The cooking program, provided ingredients for families to prepare food to collectively serve 400 family members at home and provided an additional 400 meals that gardener families helped to prepare during the cooking demonstration classes over five weeks. It was particularly heartwarming to see kids from throughout the Koreatown neighborhood descend on the kitchen and partake of a sumptuous community dinner filled with laughter, songs and healthy food.

Additional News Coverage and videos on the Mariposa-Nabi Garden can be found here:

KTLA NEWS

KABC NEWS

KMEX - UNIVISION

LA TIMES

Mariposa Nabi Grand Opening Video

Mariposa Nabi Cooking & Nutrition Program Video


WEST ATHENS VICTORY GARDEN
We were pleased to celebrate the Grand Opening of the West Athens Victory Garden this fall with Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, State Senator Rod Wright and with hundreds of kids and their families. The event was the culmination of a comprehensive community stakeholder design process as well as more than four community workdays that involved hundreds of volunteers including some members of the Southern California Gas Company and the Walt Disney Company who donated their weekend time to help build garden beds, a water cistern and a tricycle path.

The impact of transforming an empty one acre lot at 105th & Normandie in South Los Angeles into a vibrant community garden already is beginning to provide innumerable benefits. The garden is expected to provide a minimum of 6,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables each year for low-income families living in this “food desert” community where there is little access to affordable, healthy produce.

 

The garden directly serves 40 families with an average family size of 3.5 people per household; the garden will benefit 140 people directly and through partnerships with local schools and their families, it will benefit nearly 10,000 people and indirectly benefit 40,000 people.

The garden also will serve the local elementary school (Woodcrest Elementary) that already is planning field trips to the site. The school has 398 students who will directly benefit and they are part of families that make up an additional 1,393 people. We’re also setting up a program with the local high school (George Washington Prep) that has 2,130 students who are part of families that make up an additional 7,455 people. 

The Community Gardeners are currently in the process of completing their Master Gardener training and will soon begin a cooking and nutrition educational program.

Additional News Coverage of the West Athens Victory Garden can be found here:

Lastreetblog.org

Laopinion.com

LASentinal.net

Ridley-Thomas.LAcounty.gov

Links:


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