Township hopes to take over community garden

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Champaign township hopes to soon take over the Prosperity Garden. It will also be a chance for homeless people to make some money.

The garden wasn’t used this year, so it looks a little run-down. This new agreement would bring new life to that corner of the city and gives those tending to it an honest day’s work.

It’s being leased by the city through a nonprofit by the same name: Prosperity Garden, but they didn’t plant anything there last year.

If the township becomes the new owners, people who are part of the CU at Work program will tend to it. That program started last August. It pays homeless people $10 an hour to work on beautification projects and offers them food and case management. The food that’s grown at the garden will be available to the public.

“Our hope is to put little food stands in communities throughout Champaign that might be considered food deserts so we want to put these fruits and vegetables back into the community. We may sell as well, at the farmer’s markets to bring back some funding into the program,” said Township Supervisor Andy Quarnstrom.

Quarnstrom says they will likely be placing food trucks in food deserts throughout the community. Members of the READY program and the Boys & Girls club will be part of it too.

The township board will vote on the agreement next Tuesday. They expect to finalize it the following week.

The Prosperity Garden has three different spots: One at 301 N 1st Street, another across the street at 306 and 306 and a half N 1st Street, the third is at Beardsley Park, which is a half-acre. The plan is to use them all for urban gardening.

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