2017 was a year of strengthening partnerships and expanding programs at the Radix Center! Our annual budget is under $50,000 – every donation goes a long way!
Some of the year’s highlights include:
- A weekly program at nearby Giffen Elementary School, working with four different second grade classes both at their school and at Radix, supported by funding from the Charles L. Touhey Foundation.
- We celebrated the third year of our Ecojustice Summer youth program with AVillage…, Inc. This year we spent 5 weeks with 23 youth from the City of Albany’s Summer Youth Employment Program focused on gardening, environmental justice education, and outdoor fun.
- In conjunction with our friends at AVillage and Trinity Alliance we assisted neighbors to build and maintain gardens in seven vacant lots throughout the South End of Albany. We also worked together on nutrition classes and the South End Healthy Market – one of the only sources of fresh fruits and vegetables in the South End – officially considered a ‘food desert’.
- In July we offered our weekend intensive class RUST – the Regenerative Urban Sustainability Training. This class has been attended by over 1200 people since we began offering it in 2006.
- This Fall marks the fourth year of our afterschool youth employment program, where youth from area high schools participate in all aspects of our weekly farm share (planting, harvesting, online invoicing, etc.) while also learning about nutrition and ecological justice.
- Our weekly farm share continued to deliver bags of produce to around 15 families year-round.
- Again working closely with our friends at AVillage and local representatives, we continued the Ezra Prentice Community Health Survey, designed to gather detailed health data on while empowering residents as outreach workers; and participated in meetings with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and representatives from the Governor’s office to advocate for environmental justice for the South End of Albany and for the residents of Ezra Prentice Homes in particular.
- We hosted South End Earth Day for the 3rd year– a celebration and neighborhood cleanup in conjunction with AVillage, Albany County Land Bank, the South End Neighborhood Association, PAUSE, University at Albany, Albany Housing Authority, and the Downtown Albany BID.
- Siena College Professor Jodi O’Donnell and her brilliant student Rachael Mahar reimagined the Radix website and made it happen over the summer!
- The Radix Center received the most votes in the March for Science’s online contest to award funds leftover from the march. We split our $1000 award with the Ezra Prentice Tenant’s Association.
- Radix Educational Director Scott Kellogg continued to be an active member of Albany’s Vacant Lots Working Group and the City of Albany’s Sustainability Advisory Committee.
- We estimate our Community Compost Initiative (CCI) kept over 1000 gallons of food waste out of Albany’s Rapp Road landfill each month! Landfilled food waste emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas. We pick up compost each week from over 40 CCI members, including Nine Pin Cider and the City Beer Hall. We also collect the food left after the Capital District City Mission’s food pantry giveaways three days a week. This year we received a NYS Pollution Prevention Institute Community Grant to support the expansion of the CCI!
- We gave presentations at the City Growers Education Conference in Brooklyn, NY, the Capital District Food Summit at Siena College, Sustainable Susquehanna at SUNY Oneonta, the New York State Master Teachers, and the Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair. We guest lectured at the University at Albany, University at Albany School of Public Health, Sage College, Siena College, Haverford College, Skidmore College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).
- Classes from local schools, colleges, and professional groups visited Radix for a hands-on educational experience, including: new medical students from Albany Medical College (AMC) and high school students in AMC’s STEP program, Equal Opportunity Program students from the University at Albany, Siena College’s Tech Valley Scholars program, Siena College’s Urban Scholars, Green Tech High School’s Service Day, participants in Alternative Albany Day, farmers from Palestine, and classes from Woodland Hill Montessori School, University at Albany, the College at St. Rose, Siena College, and Sage College.
We thank the United Way of the Greater Capital Region, the Junior League of Albany, the Review Foundation, NYS Pollution Prevention Institute, the March for Science, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and the Charles L. Touhey Foundation for their support.
In 2018 we’re looking forward to beginning our Environmental Justice Award with AVillage from the DEC to further our work in Albany’s South End and building a floating island in the Hudson River and unveiling our new watershed sign created with support from the Albany Water Board. We also have been part of planning a new health intervention program that holistically focuses on addressing social determinants of health. This project, led by Trinity Alliance, will begin January 2018.
We operate on a shoestring budget, with much of our time volunteered. This year we also had to replace rotted purlins in the greenhouse, which was a large expense. All donations to support our work are greatly appreciated – click here to donate. We remain committed to working for social and ecological justice in 2018.
We wish you a very wonderful 2018!