Building a "Field of Dreams" in Southside Richmond

"When I look over that plot of land, I see a 'field of dreams' come to life," says Pat Harris, a trustee of Richmond's Second Baptist Church.

This year, CBF worked with the Second Baptist Church to transform a section of parking lot into a vast community garden. In addition, we installed sustainable features on the church's grounds, including a 10,000-gallon cistern, which collects rainwater to irrigate the garden. The project is expected to eliminate about 14,000 gallons of polluted runoff each year, while providing educational opportunities and fresh produce to a community in a "food desert" (where access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited).

CBF's work at the Second Baptist Church is a part of a larger effort to restore small watersheds in the Broad Creek area of southside Richmond. This underserved neighborhood's creeks were badly polluted—creeks that flow into the James River and finally, the Chesapeake Bay. CBF worked with the community to assess their needs and install a variety of conservation practices, which were complemented by educational activities, such as gardening workshops.

"I am just amazed how CBF took our vision, created a project plan that would work, [and] gathered the proper resources to help make our dream a reality," Harris says, adding, "there are so many possibilities to look forward to!"

Photo Credit: 1. CBF Staff, 2. Jay Fleming.