Growing back to the beginning with Rumbi Masawi

July 2023

A CERTs Seed Grant funded project is making headlines with the University of Minnesota Extension’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP).

Charcoal cooler

In 2022, CERTs awarded the St. Mark Giving Garden in Duluth a $5,000 seed grant to help supply the garden with charcoal coolers in lieu of electrified refrigeration devices. The coolers help build on the garden’s success in sustaining produce grown, gathered, and shared by the community. 

In a recent article, RSDP highlighted the St. Mark Giving Garden, the Hillside Neighborhood in Duluth where the garden lives, and the Lead Gardener, Rumbi Masawi.

From the article:

"The free, public garden is open to everyone and anyone looking to learn more about planting, connecting with the local community or simply enjoying a healthy snack. Garden leadership says they aim to improve health and well-being in the neighborhood by targeting disparities created by generations of systemic racism. This means creating space for community members, especially those with African heritage, and providing opportunities for healthy food, connection, economic growth, and healing. 

Two local organizations — St. Mark AME Church and Health Equity Northland — are at the core of the collaboration. Also providing support through funding and expertise are the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and the Clean Energy Resource Teams."

-Growing back to the beginning with Rumbi Masawi

After volunteering with the giving garden, Masawi became Lead Gardener. Then she was eventually hired on as Program Director for Health Equity Northland. When asked about her connection to the giving garden, Masawi shares her story from the beginning - the very beginning. 

Check out the full story on the RSDP website.

Healthy Alliances Matter for All, St. Mark AME Church - Charcoal Coolers at the Giving Garden

Clean Energy Focus: Charcoal coolers 

Northeast CERT Seed Grant: $5,000

Other Funds Leveraged: volunteer and intern hours

Energy Saved Each Year: 900 kWh

Money Saved Each Year: $100

People Involved and Reached: 254

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