AALV New Farms for New Americans: Improving Lands, Improving Lives

Grant Amount: $7,500

The proposed project will be led by AALV, based in Burlington, Vermont. AALV is a 501(c) 3 non-profit ethnic community-based organization (ECBO) with a mission to promote the equal opportunity, dignity, and self-sufficiency of all refugee and immigrant individuals and families in Vermont, regardless of race, ethnic group, religious or political affiliation, or sexual orientation.

New Farms for New Americans (NFNA) is a community-based agriculture program for refugees and immigrants located at the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington, Vermont. The NFNA program offers cross-cultural agrarian technical assistance and low-cost plot rentals to New Americans, allowing families new to Vermont to grow culturally significant crops, produce large quantities of fresh produce, and address food and financial security.

This project “New Farms for New Americans: Improving Lands, Improving Lives” aims to increase the accessibility of the farm, improve crop yields and support the ecosystem by increasing the size and quality of pollinator habitat, and reduce the frequency and impact of flooding events. 

These goals are:  

  • Flood mitigation
  • Riparian buffer restoration
  • Improve crop yields
  • Expand pollinator habitat
  • Increase accessibility
  • Create shade structure and a place to rest
  • Improve pathways

The redesign of the New Farms for New Americans program site provides an opportunity to bolster the NFNA community while restoring and preserving part of Vermont’s natural landscape. The new design focuses on the accessibility and equity of the farm plots, and in doing so, creating a sense of community. The unique location of the program site also allows for important conservation work to be done on the fragile riparian corridor of the Winooski River to preserve natural communities and mitigate flood events.