The Issue: Barren Landscapes in Underserved Communities
Bringing greater amounts of vegetation and green spaces into underserved neighborhoods can provide long-term environmental, health, and safety benefits, according to research from the University of Washington. In fact, areas with greater vegetation reported 52 percent fewer total crimes than places with little to no vegetation. But plants can do more than just beautify. With trees that bear fruit and nuts, residents gain access to healthful food—something that 42 percent of Buncombe County lacks, according to the Buncombe County 2010 Community Health Assessment.
The Campaign: Purchase and Plant Fruit Trees
If this Grassroots campaign raises $300, then Asheville GreenWorks (AGW) can purchase and plant six fruit and nut trees in an underserved community. Each additional $50 raised will be used to purchase another tree. After AGW’s staff and volunteers work with residents to determine what trees they would like in their neighborhood, the team educates them about proper maintenance and how to tell when it's harvesting time. They then work with community members to plant the trees, providing a safe, healthful outdoor activity and fostering a sense of camaraderie. Postplanting, AGW will continue to serve as a helpful resource and play a supporting role in the trees’ care and maintenance.
To celebrate the launch of Groupon Grassroots, Groupon will provide a $1,000 kickoff grant to this campaign.
An affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Asheville GreenWorks strives to achieve a clean, green Asheville and Buncombe County through environmental stewardship, education, and community-organizing programs. AGW helps to care for and preserve the community with playground enhancements, precycling, and graffiti elimination, fueled by the help of more than 900 members and thousands of volunteers. With children from local schools, they engage in educational projects, weaving lessons into activities such as cleaning up a stream or collecting litter. The organization's Green Team works with volunteers to plant trees in underserved neighborhoods and corral invasive species.