Monday, December 5, 2011

Amberley Thrives!

Amberley was recently awarded a grant of up to $24,000 from Hamilton County Public Health's We Thrive! initiative.  We Thrive! is making it easier for people in Hamilton County to eat healthy, be more active and limit tobacco use.  It is funded in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant.  Amberley must now use the grant money to make healthy changes in our community.

To that end, the Public Parks & Buildings committee, which was formerly chaired by Merrie Stillpass and Leslie McIntosh, has been meeting since late spring to discuss four possible concepts for the use of Amberley Green, as directed by the Long Range Planning Committee. Together with a group of interested residents, they have networked with city, county and state resources, as well as various non-profit, and for-profit organizations, to explore options for urban agriculture on Amberley Green.  Four ideas were preferred: 1) construction of a community garden, 2) an Amberley Village farmers' market, 3) community supported agriculture (csa), and 4) commercial aquaponics.  All were discussed extensively, but the community garden and farmers' market were felt to fill a need to the community that the CSA and aquaponic could not at this particular time.  Community gardens and farmers' markets function as a way of building the community that Amberley otherwise lacks.

The grant from We Thrive! makes it possible to move forward on these projects and committees are now forming.  If you are interested in helping to plan Amberley's community garden or Farmer's market, please email Merrie Stillpass (community garden chair). If you would like to be on the committee to plan the farmers' market, contact Leslie McIntosh, or simply contact Nicole at Village Hall.

Also, as part of the grant requirement, Amberley is required to enter into a "shared use agreement" that will promote physical activity to our residents or allow residents of other communities to use our facilities to foster physical activity.  For an example of a shared-use agreement that Amberley already hosts, look to the Amberley Green tennis courts.  Currently, they are used by both Amberley residents and the Mount Notre Dame Academy.  If you are interested in exploring more opportunities for shared use, you can contact me at

As you can see from the photo, there is a good amount of interest in this project.  Please let me know if you would like to see a community garden at Amberley Green.  Would you use it? I know that I would like to have a vegetable garden where I didn't have to worry that I was simply providing salad for the wildlife in my backyard!  How about a farmers' market? Do you currently shop at one? What features do you think make for an exciting farmers' market?

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