(Kansas City, Mo.) – Gardens need water and KC Water needs less stormwater in the sewer system. A solution is in full bloom.
KC Water has partnered with Kansas City Community Gardens to implement the KC Grow Water Access program. It allows community gardens and urban farmers to apply for funds for water for their site.
“We have extended our summer growing across the street,” said Lisa Hummel, co-owner and operator of Woodland City KC. “We couldn’t have done that without the grant that established the frost free hydrant that allows us to irrigate our crops there.”
Through the partnership, community gardeners and urban farmers apply for funds to get a frost free hydrant for potable water or a water tank to collect rainwater.
At St. James Church Communal Garden, volunteers had been connecting hoses to the church to get water. Now, a cistern system allows them to get all of the water they need from the roof of their thrift store free of charge.
“We realized that these really big towers we now have do an even better job of collecting water. As a result, now we don’t have to rely at all on the church for water. We don’t have to hook up a hose to the church at all,” said Toni Wurth, co-lead gardener.
Troostwood Garden Market at 51st and the Paseo has been growing fresh vegetables since 1996. They recently received at 1,500-gallon tank to catch rainwater.
“It really means a lot to the community because until Sunfresh opened just recently and Aldi’s on 39th, it was just a food desert,” said Martina Bowden, grant writer for Troostwood Garden Market. “There was no place you could get affordable vegetables. People didn’t have transportation to go to stores far away. So, they could walk here or get on the bus line and get to the garden. It has really served a good purpose.”
At Paseo West Community Garden the blackberries, cabbage, kale and beets are flourishing, thanks in part to the water system.
“These water cisterns have helped us tremendously. We had 150-gallon tote water tanks, and these are 1,500-gallon water tanks. We love these tanks because this is rain water,” said Nadine Ferris, volunteer gardener.
These grants, funded by KC Water, are awarded annually and administered by Kansas City Community Gardens.
“It’s a great partnership because not only does it allow the gardeners to grow vegetables and fruit that feed a community, especially in a food desert, but it also allows us to capture stormwater that would normally get into the combined sewer system,” said Lara Isch, KC Water Water Quality Educator.
For more information, please contact Brooke Givens, Media Relations Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816.513.0284.
KC Water maintains and operates water treatment and distribution systems, stormwater management systems, and wastewater collection and treatment systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City area. KC Water is primarily funded by fees charged to customers based on their use or impacts on the three utility systems.