Community Engagement 

Ecology and Agriculture
Ecology is the relationship of living things to each other and to what’s around them. The root of the word “ecology” from Greek means “study of the household”. It is the study of the “household” of living things and how we all interact with each other. In our urban world, where 50% of the human population now lives in cities according to reports form the Millenium Goals., we have become removed from a clear relationship with our physical environment and even further distanced from the natural world.

Urban populations benefit from expanded awareness about their physical environment. Urban communities can reduce their impact on the earth with efficient housing, mass-transit, and shared energy systems. The fastest growing urban areas, however, are unfortunately the sprawling slums of nations whose agricultural regions can no longer support growing populations.

Sustainable Agriculture calls for an integrated system that incorporates environmental health, economic viability, and social equity. This system includes the natural world, the local ecosystem, the farmer, the transporter, the processor and the consumer. It entails the stewardship of both natural and human resources with the focus of “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”.

As our world becomes more and more urban, our connection with our food source is more remote. Small realistic steps can be made even in urban areas to steward humanity toward a more sustainable food system.
 

Via Partnerships

Via is working throughout the San Diego-Tijuana region to support and promote the development and use of personal and community gardens as a way to both connect people to their environment and provide underserved communities with access to affordable and healthy locally grown produce.

Nutrition and Ecology Education - Via continues to work with our sister organization in Mexico, Los Niños de Baja California, to provide nutrition and ecology education to women and families in low-income areas on the outskirts of Tijuana and Mexicali, Mexico. The ecology component of this program is specifically geared towards organic gardening, composting and recycling and supports the development of personal and community gardens.  Through this program, 10,000 gardens were planted at schools and in communities throughout underserved areas of the city in 2015.

Greely Gardens- Via has partnered with Greely Gardens, a grassroots collective of artists and residents in the Logan Heights area of San Diego, that are working to develop a thriving community garden and meeting place for kids and families.  Via brings needed labor and resources to the project through our Volunteers program and provides fiscal sponsorship to the collective to acquire additional resources.