KEEN Utility Laces Up Their Boots with the LA Conservation Corps
There is a district in South LA with 44,000 people and only two greens spaces available for the residents. One of those green spaces is Athens Community Garden and it provides much needed healthy produce to this food desert and gives work skills and education to corps members. On Friday, July 24th, KEEN Utility was proud to join the LA Conservation Corps in planting fruit trees, weeding, and installing bioswales in this beautiful .62 acre garden. This is one of 18 vital projects that KEEN Utility is supporting this year through Project Build with the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps and The Wilderness Society.
“It was a pleasure to participate in this event. I highly recommend it if you get a chance to do it with one of your local corps. The conservation corps changes lives. We should all be proud to be partnering with tremendous organizations like the LA Conservation Corps.” -Jake Rickrode, KEEN Utility Account Executive
One of the garden bed members, Bettie Taylor, was there picking her sweet potatoes and shared with us her thankfulness for the garden and how delicious her sweet potatoes have been this year. The garden is a place she brings her grandchildren where they can be found helping her weed, pick vegetables as well as running full speed around the garden barefoot, she told me with a big smile.
The LA Conservation Corps members are truly inspirational and not only taught us a lot about how to swing an ax but what hard work and dedication looks like. Dulce Ruiz is one of those corp members and has been a Garden Specialist for with the LA Conservation Corps since 2015. When thinking back on her time in the garden, she reflects on the skills she has learned from using hand tools to operating skill saws as well as the knowledge she has gained about irrigation and project plans. But in the end she says: “the most important thing I learned was to create something good for the community, and create a better environment for people to live in. These community garden projects help children of all ages participate to make a difference in their communities.”
We are so proud to be apart of this work and thankful to have had the opportunity to serve alongside The Wilderness Society, 21CSC and the LA Conservation Corps. To learn more about the partnership visit the blog and keep up with stories and more volunteer events during Project Build on Facebook.