UTC Professor Partners with Local Organization to Create Community Garden

By Regina Baker, Staff Writer–

Hope for the Inner City, a Chattanooga-based community service organization, has partnered with UTC Professor Lucy Schultz and other organizers to bring a new garden to the community.

The goal of the organization is to bring those from instability to stability, by providing help to lower income families and helping them improve, so that the community can thrive. Hope for the Inner City provides job classes, adult dental care and accepts donations of food to give back to those in need.

The organization’s latest project, a community garden, will be used around the Thanksgiving holiday to provide fresh food for members of the community. Community Development Director, Tory Worley, shared their purpose and mission for the organization.

“Our mission is for the communities [to] connect with different organizations to find a way to make something happen and make a change,” he said.

Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Learning, Lucy Schultz sought for her students to work on an environmental project this semester. The Walker Center granted Schultz with a high impact grant for learning and teaching of the class.

Students are assigned to meet on Tuesdays between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. along with volunteering on Saturdays. Schultz explained what she envisions for her class through participating in these events.

“My hope is that the students working in the garden will see the skills of working in environmental philosophy for the betterment of the community,” she said.

Joel Tippens, creator of the Grow Hope Urban Farm in 2012, is working in partnership with Schultz and Worley to bring gardens to inner cities, in hopes of providing sustainable food to communities. Tippens works with several centers throughout Chattanooga including City Farms Grower Coalition and the Bethlehem Center, whose respective missions include developing and strengthening communities through gardens, which provide food and guidance to communities in need.

Tippens believes that collaborative efforts to build gardens will help endorse the work that is put into bringing these programs to the city. 

 “There is no reason that with enough effort and work the city cannot feed itself,” he said.

Individuals working with Hope for the Inner City continue to shed light on how these garden programs are beneficial in helping members of the community find healthier and improved life styles.

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