We aim to avoid the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.
Urban Garden Project
In July 2017 the Women’s Center and MASA began partnering to create MASA’s bimonthly program, the Urban Garden Project, for the residents of the Women’s Center. The Women’s Center provided emergency shelter to 122 women and 92 children in 2016; 173 of those survivors were low-income or homeless, and 95 were women ages 50 and older.
Through the Urban Garden Project, MASA provides dinner and interactive workshops with other community partners for the residents to gain real-life tools to utilize in their new homes after they leave the Women’s Center. The objective of the Urban Garden Project is to empower urban communities to be sustainable, healthy, and independent with their food choices through education on small space gardening and nutrition.
The dinners are donated by local Milwaukee restaurants throughout the city and the workshops range from shopping on a budget, nutrition, food preservation techniques, composting, and more. In a follow up survey for workshop attendees, residents indicated that they “enjoyed themselves very much”, and “would attend another workshop like this in the future”. Four out of five attendees stated that they “learned lots of things they can use in the future”. There were also clear indicators that the women in attendance appreciated the pleasant nature of the workshop. Attendees were given the opportunity to provide open comments and stated “Yes, this was very relaxing. I want a garden now!”, and “This reminds me of my childhood growing plants and veggies with my mother.”
This is an ongoing program that MASA plans to continue and expand through 2018. This spring, MASA will install raised garden beds at the Women’s Center to grow food for use in their kitchen and be the subject of the spring and summer workshops to teach gardening skills. Thanks to the 2018 Mini-Grant MASA received from Sweet Water, a rainwater collection system will be installed to divert stormwater and supply water for the gardens.
2017 Urban Garden Project Workshops
|Date||Workshop Leader, Organization||Meal Donation Provided By||Workshop Topic|
|Aug. 29, 2017||Marion Ecks, Kompost Kids||Composting & Growing Food from Kitchen Scraps|
|Oct. 24, 2017||Maureen Fitzgerald, Hunger Task Force (HTF)||Milwaukee Brat House||Cooking Healthy Food on a Budget; HTF Resources|
|Dec. 5, 2017||Heather Walters||DiModa Pizza||Preserving Food with Fermentation|
Savor, Sip & Cycle for Sustainability
On July 30th, 2017, MASA hosted Savor, Sip & Cycle for Sustainability, a local bicycling caravan to Milwaukee restaurants applying sustainable practices in their kitchens and business operations.
The objective of this event was to highlight local businesses that have taken on sustainable practices in the community and promote public health through alternative transportation methods. Participating restaurants were in the Bay View neighborhood and included Boone & Crockett, Goodkind, Classic Slice, Cafe Corazon, and Cafe Lulu. Additional partners, Bublr Bikes and Badger Liquors, provided free rental bikes, and alcohol and printing services, respectively. The registration cost of $75 per team (1-5 persons) included a drink and snack at each participating restaurant, as well as a free rental bike if needed.
Capacity for the event (50 participants) was reached during advanced registration. Teams were encouraged to get creative with their team names and outfits, and each team took part in a social media contests for “Best Team Name” and “Best Dressed Team”. At event check-in, participants received a SS&C passport to commemorate each of the stops along the caravan.
The event was a resounding success and may be an annual event for MASA. Feedback was received from participants and businesses to identify ways the event could be improved in the future. Future SS&Cs will include increased communication facilitation between participating restaurants to establish greater sense of camaraderie and increased consistency with food and drink portions. Participants also expressed the desire for a finish line after-party which will be incorporated at future events, providing an opportunity for MASA to sell merchandise and recruit volunteers. The after-party will be open to the public to increase community reach by word of mouth from participants. Future location considerations include Oak Creek, Riverwest, and Wauwatosa.
In 2017, MASA participated in the community events listed below. MASA provided interactive science demonstrations and organization information for volunteer recruitment and upcoming programs.
- Green Schools Conference (Tabling Event)
- Reflo Community Map Scavenger Hunt (Tabling Event)
- Bay View Bash (MASA worked with Kompost Kids to provide composting services)