Kutztown, PA—Rodale Institute has partnered with Cohere, a secret garden micro-gathering space at The Viaduct in the Spring Arts neighborhood of Philadelphia. Together, they will host “Grow Clean Water hub,” a public educational installation aimed at linking clean water and healthy food. Visitors of the Hub can view educational signs around the garden explaining the importance of organic agriculture, healthy soil, native plants, compost, pollinators, and more. The duo will also be hosting in person and virtual education events in February and April.
“We’re becoming more and more removed from agriculture,” said Diana Martin, Director of Communications & Marketing for Rodale Institute, in a press release. “If you don’t know how your food is produced, you can’t understand its connection to clean water, a healthy environment, and a thriving local ecosystem.” The Viaduct, she says, will help families learn where food comes from and how it impacts their health and the world around them.
Made possible with Rodale’s Grow Clean Water initiative, Stroud Water Research Center, and The William Penn Foundation, signs in the space have been placed near The Viaduct’s organic gardens, compost piles, and chicken coops that highlight Philadelphia-based organizations who put water-smart farming methods into practice such as FarmerJawn CSA, Kind Earth Growers nursery, and Bennet Compost.
“The Viaduct is a place of discovery and as a chef, my contribution is food and the relationship that food has with everything we hold dear,” says Erik Oberholtzer, Rodale Institute Board member. “The organic principles of Rodale Institute inform much of what we do here—from the soil, seeds, chickens and menu.”
Expanding the educational reach, Rodale also will be hosting a virtual panel discussion on Saturday, February 27 from 10–11:30am ET, titled “Food, Farming, and Philadelphia: The Impact of Organic Agriculture on Human and Environmental Health in the City of Brotherly Love” with Green Philly. The talk will uncover ways in which food and farming are taking root in the Philadelphia environmental scene.
Rodale will also host a family-friendly Earth Day celebration at the Viaduct on April 24, 2021 where small groups can visit interactive stations around the Viaduct, focusing on themes such as Grow, Eat, Learn, and Explore. Attendees will be able to plant organic vegetable seedlings, make healthy snacks, explore worm compost bins, and enjoy a VR experience.