Refugees Find Sanctuary in Urban Gardening

Melanie Eversley writes on the healing power of urban gardens and farms for refugees new to the U.S. who are looking for a taste of home.

Gardens and farms serve more purposes than just as pretty scenery or means of agricultural production. These green spaces are also serving as places of sanctuary and opportunity for refugees who have just come to the U.S. through the International Rescue Committee (IRC). A 6-year old program called New Roots helps "refugees get used to their new countries by allowing them to do something that is familiar and empowering: growing things."

New Roots already has more than 400 refugees tending their 17 farms in nine cities across the country. The program's benefits are twofold, empowering those recently displaced from their native countries and aiding efforts to supply more fresh food to urban communities.

"Food is one of the most significant, visceral ways we are connected to culture," states New Roots' national coordinator Ellie Igoe. "Refugees have been disconnected from those kinds of rituals. When that happens, we suffer emotionally. And so when we're able to get back to those things, it enlivens us."

Thanks to Daniel Lippman

Full Story: Urban gardens allow refugees to plant roots

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $50.
$369 includes free shipping!