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.
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

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Dec 13, 2013

Marine Science- Aquarist training

Kendrick in the tank
Kendrick in the tank

Our Aquarist in training program has been focusing on providing experiences and opportunities for our two newest facility program participants Kendrick and Evelyn.

Kendrick has been working closely with the Giant Black Sea Bass, our largest fish at the SEA Lab.  He has been learning what it takes to care for our three gentle giants rescued in 2010.  He is working on identiying any health issues with the giants and coming up with solutions; he is also monitoring their diet and developing a feeding regime that will provide the greatest benefit, and Kendrick is also responsible for vacuuming, siphoning and scrubbing to keep their tank clean.

Evelyn lead a major project to clean our tidepool tank,our largest display tank at the SEA Lab.  The process she undertook included removing all the fish and providing a health check before returning them to their display.  The tank was emptied for 2 days while the crew cleaned the overflow drains and pipes, removed excess algae growing on the tank walls and replaced the substrate in the tank.

The SEA Lab is also expanding its aquaculture program to include developing techniques to care for a batch of newly born baby seahorses.

Evelyn returning fish to the tidepool tank
Evelyn returning fish to the tidepool tank
Baby Seahorses
Baby Seahorses
Feeding the Giant Black Sea Bass
Feeding the Giant Black Sea Bass
Nov 8, 2013

Giving Thanks from the East LA Garden!

Chris, Cody & Francis send a message with veggies!
Chris, Cody & Francis send a message with veggies!

As the holiday season quickly approaches, we would like to take this opportunity to THANK YOU – our wonderful supporters – for making the East LA Learning Garden a reality!

Over two years ago, Alex Lopez, the Director of our East LA Center, dreamed of creating a place where our corpsmembers could apply their construction, irrigation and landscaping skills to create a community space that would promote healthier lifestyles and offer fresh produce at affordable prices in an underserved urban neighborhood.

With your help, we now have a vibrant urban farm that brings the neighborhood together for weekly harvests, engages local residents in deciding what crops to plant and provides on-going learning opportunities for our young people.  Corpsmembers have installed a rainwater capture system, built a composting center and learned about seasonal crop rotations.

“We are very grateful to all our supporters and partners who believed in our project and took action to help us make our plans and dreams come true,” said Alex.

In partnership with the LA Community Garden Council, the East LA Learning Garden has also provided donations of fresh produce to the Downtown Women’s Center, which provides 3 meals each day for their drop-in center guests.  In the future, the Garden will sell some of its produce to local restaurants that specialize in “farm to fork” offerings to help pay for its operations, but donations to local food banks will continue to serve the community as well.

We invite you to come and join us for a Sunday Market Day (9am – 1pm) and to share this project with your friends!  More photos can be found on our Facebook page (facebook.com/lacorps).

From all of us at the LA Conservation Corps, thank you for making a difference!

Downtown Women
Downtown Women's Center appreciates fresh produce
Staff member Carlos gets his son to help out!
Staff member Carlos gets his son to help out!
Community residents take trees to plant at home!
Community residents take trees to plant at home!
Outdoor meeting space is used for community events
Outdoor meeting space is used for community events

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