Austin Street Center‘s New Hope aquaponic garden – a first of its kind for a Dallas-based homeless shelter – celebrates its grand opening today with an appearance and ceremonial seed plaiting by Mayor Mike Rawlings. The garden, which is a result of a impressive fundraising drive by Leadership Dallas, will provide healthy food for the 400 daily residents in the emergency shelter and will help teach food sustainability and nutritious living.
“Homelessness has no place in our community,” said Daniel Roby, Executive Director of Austin Street Center and member of Leadership Dallas Class of 2017. “New Hope Garden will provide another tool to transform the lives of every guest who walks through our doors.”
Austin Street Center serves 972 meals every day, providing for 2,700 people annually. To meet these needs, the garden will utilize aquaponics, a self-watering closed-loop system that adds natural fertilizer from fish and plants to grow vegetables at an accelerated rate.
In addition to the aquaponic system, seven traditional raised-bed gardens will be built by the Leadership Dallas Class of 2017. There is space to expand with eight more traditional gardens in the future.
To complete New Hope Garden, the fundraising goal was to raise $185,000 in financial and in-kind contributions with construction beginning in April with a completion set for May 20, 2017. HollyFrontier Corporation and Hunt Consolidated, Inc. generously pledged matching funds toward the completion of the project. Including those matching funds, over $90,000 has been donated through cash and in-kind contributions.
“We believe that this garden will provide food resources for the residents of Austin Street Shelter and contribute to their well-being,” said Dennis Grindinger, President of Austin Street Center. “We are proud that Leadership Dallas, the Dallas Regional Chamber, HollyFrontier and Hunt Consolidated are supporting the creation of New Hope Garden and we hope that their involvement will encourage other community leaders to join in supporting this worthy and innovative project.”
For more information about New Hope Garden and how you can help, please click on this link.
All donated plants and seeds can be delivered or sent to Austin Street Shelter at 2929 Hickory Street, Dallas 75226.