River Roots Community Farm
A partnership between the Allegheny-Clarion Valley School District and the Allegheny-Clarion River Valley Region Blueprint Community, River Roots Community Farm aims to be a true community asset, providing increased educational, physical, emotional, and creative opportunities for students, teachers, and staff, as well as a supply of healthy food and increased financial resilience to the school district and the local community. School gardens and farms are a well-proven amendment to public schools, and local residents and businesses have enthusiastically rallied behind the initiative. The project is starting with one small section of raised beds, and over the next three years will culminate in a combination of raised beds, row cropping, livestock, silviculture, and conservation, providing a supply of fresh food to the ACV cafeterias and the local community.
Start-up funding is currently being sought from the USDA’s Farm to School Grant program, KidsGardening Youth Gardening Grants, Walmart Community Grants, Captain Planet Foundation ecoSolution Grants, and Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grants, and the school farm’s long-term strategy include agribusiness planning for financial self-sufficiency and an eventual revenue stream for the school district. The school farm will be integrated into school curriculum as well as extracurricular activities over the next three years, and relationships with established local farms and agricultural providers are being nurtured to provide even greater chances of early success.