In Your Neighborhood

A happy ending

Urban growing space built by the African Alliance of RI that was damaged has now been fully restored, thanks to numerous volunteers

Photo by Richard Asinoif

A crew of volunteers worked together to restore the damaged urban growing space on Saturday, June 10, a happy ending. Second from right: Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, who pitched in to help. Julius Kolawole, center, is the president of the African Alliance of Rhode Island.

By Richard Asinof
Posted 6/12/17
News coverage by ConvergenceRI helped to spark an engaged community response to rebuild damaged raised beds at an urban farming space in Providence, including Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza.
When will positive efforts by immigrant communities in Rhode Island receive coverage by the local media? How are neighborhoods being redefined by social media?
The power of convergence, conversation and breaking down the silos created by our compartmentalized lives is predicated upon relationships that enable communities to become constituencies of consequence.

PROVIDENCE – The destruction of the new urban farm growing space on Prairie Avenue constructed by the African Alliance of Rhode Island had a very happy ending. Thanks to a strong response by an engaged community of volunteers, the damaged fence has been rebuilt, and all the growing beds restored.

About 20 volunteers, including Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, who arrived on his bicycle, made quick work in restoring the damaged beds on Saturday morning, June 10, leaving Julius Kolawole, the president of the African Alliance, beaming.

Kolawole personally acknowledged the important role that ConvergenceRI played in reporting on the situation, expressing his gratitude. [See link below to ConvergenceRI story, “All trucked up: when food, crime stories go uncovered in Crimetown.”]

Although most of the news media had ignored the story about the destruction of the urban growing space, the use of Facebook proved to be a catalyst in mobilizing support for the rebuilding of the urban growing space.

Kolawole thanked Elorza for his support, suggesting that the mayor look into the ownership of an abandoned lot next door to the growing space, as a potential new site. Elorza promised to do so.

Kolawole also gave one of the volunteers a seed pod from what’s known as an African garden egg, to grow in her own garden.


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