After several years of visioning, planning and meetings....along with on-going activities and programs like our Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade building, a full summer of camp and garden growing for children, youth and their families, developing the Urban Farming Collective and sponsoring two Community Gardens, and developing Permaculture and Nature Awareness based programs....we have an official HOME to call our own!
The Barns Property and the old farm, of the former State Mental Hospital is now our "official" home-place for our Community Gardens and our projects and programs! We will be occupying approximately four acres along with an old garage building which we plan to transform into our Community Learning Center and workshop space.
The signing of a management agreement for the Barns Property, between Little Artshram and the Recreational Authority of the City of Traverse City and Garfield Twp., and our management partners, SEEDS and the Botanic Garden Society of Northwest Michigan, happened in 2009. We have also completed the Traverse City/North West Michigan Permaculture Design Course, focusing seven student-led design projects on our home-place and property, to inform our next 15 years of occupancy.
Our 2011 Summer programs will continue to take place at the Community Gardens near the Historic Barns. This beautiful green-space which is just west of downtown Traverse City, has been described as our version of NYC Central Park. The landscape truly is pastoral with open space and meadows, and further west of both the Barns property and the Village of the Grand Traverse Commons development, eight hiking trails wind themselves through a beautiful woodland and wetland conservation area and wildlife habitat.
June through August, we will be hosting a series of ten weekly Summer Camps for children and youth 6 years and older.
Not only are we bringing in soil-managers and gardeners, to expand our teaching and project staff; we also recruit artists and puppeteers to help us with our annual Earth Day Parade tasks; and seasonally hire regional and national Permaculture consultants and educators with O'k CSAe providing organizational services. Little Artshram also works in cooperation with our neighbors just north of the Community Gardens down Red Drive at Bldg. #36, at the Village of Grand Traverse Commons.
We are growing a community of Permaculturists as young as 6 years old! This summer, we once again offer folks to join our teaching and apprentice staff, through a Permaculture and Nature Awareness Teacher and Apprentice Training in May and June 2011.
There is LOT's happening already at the Community Gardens on our barns property site with all of the 32 garden plots taken on by eager gardeners. This year we are also hosting a second Community Garden at 429 Front St., next door to the 9-Bean Rows Bakery. For more information connect to our Urban Farming Collective and Community Garden coordinators. (link to their web-page and email addresses here.)
Come and see us at our Historic Barns Park home-place, and join this emerging and evolving community owned green-space.
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