Roots to Rooftop Tour Puts Community Gardens, Urban Farm on Display

School and community gardens, a rooftop garden, and an urban farm will be on display during the 3rd Annual Roots to Rooftop Tour hosted by Grow Springfield. The tour lets people learn how community gardens and urban agriculture are changing the landscape of Springfield, growing more vibrant neighborhoods, and creating a healthier future.

According to Joe Eby, Grow Springfield Coordinator, this year’s tour will be Sunday, July 19 and is planned in two sections. There will be a bike tour from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM and a car tour from 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM. The bike tour begins at the Neighborhood Garden at the Springfield Art Association on North 5th Street and will be led by members of the Springfield Bike Club. The car tour begins at the Springfield Community Works Garden at the corner of 3 rd and Canedy Streets. There will be a short presentation with time for questions and answers at each garden.

"Community gardens are a great way for neighbors to come together, create community, and grow healthy food. Urban farms are on the cutting edge of providing good healthy food in cities across the country. This is a great opportunity for people to see what's growing in Springfield,” said Eby. “Each site will have a knowledgeable host who can talk about what’s growing, how it’s being grown, how they’re impacting their area, and much more. And the fun doesn’t stop when the tour is done! The Project Southtown Post-Tour Party is happening at 4:30 PM at the Black Sheep Café, 1320 S.11th St. The party features food and beverages, music, art, and a demonstration on beekeeping, along with another garden and prairie replanting area. It will be a chance for people to relax, enjoy, talk about what they’ve seen, and create more community! We really appreciate George Sinclair and the folks of Project Southtown being a part of this year’s event.”

Tour schedules and participating sites, along with addresses, can be found on the Grow Springfield website: www.growspringfield.org.

During the tour, Slow Food Springfield will provide complimentary refreshments outside Maldaner’s Restaurant. Water will also be available at each site.

Sites on the bike tour include: 

Neighborhood Garden & Neighborhood Garden Too 

Douglas School Garden 

Butler School Garden 

Springfield Community Works Garden

Maldaner’s Rooftop Garden

Sites on the car tour include: 

Springfield Community Works Garden 

Butler School Garden 

Small Axe Market Farm 

Maldaner’s Rooftop Garden 

Springfield Community Garden & Family Fit Center 

Illinois Dept. of Agriculture Community Garden

“The tour will provide people with the opportunity to see, first-hand, the benefits of gardening and farming in cities. Research studies have suggested that community gardens and urban farms can provide increased access to fresh and healthy produce, nurture communities and promote biodiversity,” said Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, University of Illinois Extension educator. “We’re glad to be a partner in the Roots to Rooftop Tour again this year.”

Grow Springfield is a network to support, promote, and provide resources for community gardens and urban agriculture in Springfield. Along with Grow Springfield, sponsors of this event include the U of I Extension, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, genHkids, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Times, Kumler Neighborhood Ministries, Maldaner's Restaurant, Slow Food Springfield, Springfield Community Garden & Family Fit Center, Butler School Garden, Small Axe Market Farm, and Project Southtown. Contact Joe Eby at 217-528-1563 or joe@ilstewards.org for more information.

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