by Katherine Newman
90 days ago
at 05:18 PM | Permalink
Tyler Wolf and
Lily Turner, co-founders of Urban Blooms, recently built the largest living
wall in Ohio. The two Walnut Hills High School graduates started the nonprofit
two years ago and have been amazed with the outpouring of support and interest
they have seen from Cincinnati communities thus far. Urban Blooms specializes
the design, installation and maintenance of indoor and outdoor living walls — functional vertical gardens — as a source of
income for other community sustainability projects. One of the organization’s
goals for the year is to build at least six more. The living walls are not only
aesthetically beautiful, but also good for the environment — with air-cleaning
abilities, they can filter out particulate matter and volatile organic
compounds from the air we breathe. Urban Blooms is responsible for the
18-by-8-foot installation at Hyde Park’s E+O Kitchen, and will be exhibiting a
living wall at the Cincinnati Flower Show in April.
What makes this
nonprofit really special? It’s still in the startup phase. Wolf and Turner have
no paid staff and haven’t pulled a salary for themselves yet.
professional volunteers,” Turner says. “When you remove the money factor, you
see what you can do, and that’s when the passion really kicks in — and the
ambition. It’s fantastic to see, and that’s part of the energy of the startup
The two are
committed to their cause and to the city of Cincinnati. “We are not trying to
get rich with this,” Wolf says. “We really
want to make our city into a more sustainable and community-oriented place that
appreciates art, like these living walls. I believe we can turn Cincinnati into
the most sustainable city in the country.”
There is an
upcoming opportunity to volunteer with Urban Blooms. During the next few weeks,
the team will be working to clean out a space in North Avondale to build a
community butterfly garden. Any one wanting to help can contact Urban Blooms
for details on time and place.
beginning of last year, Wolf got involved with the East End Veterans Memorial
Garden, located behind Eli’s BBQ. The vets that tend to the garden are part of
the drug and alcohol program at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. “The whole
program is based around providing healthy living and learning environments and
to teach them sober activities to occupy their time with,” Wolf says.
Volunteers are welcome to visit the garden from 9 a.m.-noon Thursday or 11
a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday starting around the first week of April. There is a
52-week curriculum that teaches different gardening techniques that are
relevant to the seasons. “In the spring we teach how to get soil ready, starting
seeds and transplanting,” Wolf says. “In the summer it’s more about taking care
of plants and knowing when its time to pick. In the fall it’s about picking produce,
cooking with it and getting the garden ready for the next year.” Urban Blooms
is not looking for gardening gurus to get involved with this community project,
just volunteers who want to spend some time getting their hands dirty to make a
difference in the life of a veteran.
another garden near the Cincinnati Zoo where volunteers are welcome to come and
help the team prepare the beds to be planted. This community garden has about 12
raised beds and is a traditional community garden where people in the
neighborhood take responsibility for their own beds and work through trading
with other people utilizing the gardening space. Anyone living in Avondale or
Clifton who wants space in the garden can contact Urban Blooms.
organization is so new, they could still use a little help with the business
side of things. Anyone willing to contribute time to grant writing, website
building or nonprofit administration would be more than appreciated.
Urban Blooms is
a young nonprofit, so donations help greatly. Money is always appreciated but
there are many other ways to help this growing organization. The team has asked
for gardening supplies like soil, seeds and rocks. Donated wood and 55-gallon
barrels can be used to make garden beds and planters. One unique donation they
are looking for is old jeans — Turner has the interesting idea of turning jeans
into cool planters.
For more information on URBAN BLOOMS volunteering and garden
Grow It Forward Gardens promotes healthy food access and community engagement
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 16, 2014
For garden visionary Chris Smyth,
sustainability coordinator of neighborhood nonprofit Price Hill Will
(PHW), an empty yard is more than a patch of dirt. It’s a blank canvas.
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 7, 2012
A printed news source
I can’t do without comes unfailingly in the mail: seed catalogs.
Forget Hindu, Jewish, Chinese or Gregorian new years. Delivery of the
first seed catalogs starts my new year before Thanksgiving.
Civic Garden Center offers refuge in the middle of the city
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Many of us drive by it every day and never take notice, and yet the lucky few who venture off the beaten path discover a tiny oasis hidden just outside of the city. Nestled among eight acres off Reading Road in Avondale, the Civic Garden Center acts as a horticultural resource dedicated to enriching lives through education, community beautification and environmental stewardship.