(Note: This is Part 3 in a series of blog posts highlighting the incredible work being done by our 2020 Seedling Grant recipients. You can find Part 1 on the Abenaki Land Link project here and Part 2 on ACORN’s Online Wholesale Market here. Check back in regularly to hear about other projects!)
350VT knows that climate justice and food justice are inextricably linked, because climate change creates profound challenges for already-fragile food systems. However, just as the challenges of climate change and food insecurity are connected, so too are some of the solutions. Rewild Vermont, part of 350VT’s Put Carbon In The Ground campaign, leveraged a City Market Seedling Grant to bring some of these solutions to life.
Rewild Vermont is a project to transform how people in Vermont relate to the land, reorienting toward regenerative, just practices. It allows people to simultaneously take action for climate justice, food justice, and economic justice. Since the launch of the Rewild project in July of 2020, 350VT has worked with volunteers and other organizations to plant over 7,500 trees. They helped coordinate 48 tree planting events and 6 education events focused on food justice and regenerative agriculture, and engaged over 700 people in these tree plantings and workshops. Seedling Grant funding supported many of these events and workshops.
One event in particular that was directly supported by the Seedling Grant shows how regenerative agriculture can work to strengthen food systems in rural areas while repairing our climate. 350VT’s grafting workshop provided an opportunity for 30 volunteers to help graft 250 apple and pear trees. Most of these trees were donated to schools and community gardens. Additionally, volunteers planted over 2,000 nut trees. When these trees are grown, they will draw CO2 out of the atmosphere and provide food for people and wildlife.
The grafting workshop was such a success that 350VT plans to host several more workshops throughout the spring of 2022. The trees from these workshops will be planted in lower income areas around the state. This winter, 350 VT will begin to identify more locations for mini orchards, and they will engage community members in conversations about their food needs and how food justice and climate justice are connected.
Rewild Vermont’s programming gives people a tangible way to take action to help reverse the impacts of climate change, while simultaneously addressing food insecurity issues. We’re glad to have supported this hands-on approach to advancing climate and food justice.
You can learn more about the Rewild Vermont project here.