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Live, Eat, Grow Route 1

Focused on creating a more equitable and sustainable food system in the Route 1 Corridor

Launched in 2019 with funding from the Northern Virginia Health Foundation, the L.E.G. Route 1 Project is grounded in the belief that a community’s food system is critical to the health of its residents, through collaborative efforts with partner organizations aimed at improving food access, reducing food insecurity, and fostering better nutrition.

Part of changing the food system begins with creating opportunities for residents to grow their own food. Gardens provide multiple health benefits impacting food access, better nutrition, increased physical activity, and improved mental health as well as opportunities for education and job training. The L.E.G. Route 1 Project focuses on the development and support of school and community gardens. Arcadia is working collaboratively with the Fairfax Food Council and Virginia Cooperative Extension to build systems to ensure that the Route 1 area has access to gardening opportunities as well as healthy affordable food.

We welcome community participation in the core programs of L.E.G. Route 1:

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Live, Eat, Grow Garden Network

The Live, Eat, Grow Garden Network supports existing community and faith-based gardens while fostering the development of new gardening opportunities along the Route 1 corridor. This is a collaborative effort between Arcadia, The Fairfax Food Council, and Virginia Cooperative Extension.  

Membership in the Garden Network comes with access to mentoring, training, and garden assistance from Arcadia's staff, volunteers, and partner organizations. Membership is open to nonprofit, community-based, and faith-based organizations.  L.E.G. Garden Network Membership is free. 

Benefits of being a L.E.G. Garden Network member:

  • Access to free training sessions at Arcadia Farm and with partner organizations

  • Garden manual, resources, additional training opportunities

  • An initial free garden consultation with Arcadia's Outreach and Education Manager

  • Assistance in planning community work days and engagement opportunities

  • Guidance in planning, development, and garden maintenance

  • Opportunities to network with other gardens along Route 1

  • LEG Youth Internship opportunities

  • Funding ideas to assist with garden development
     

Are you interested in becoming part of the L.E.G. Route 1 Garden Network?  Please email Juan Pablo Echeverria, Arcadia’s Outreach and Education Coordinator at JuanPablo@Arcadiafood.org

Live, Eat, Grow
Internship Program

The L.E.G. Internship Program is open to high school students who want to learn about gardening and apply that knowledge in their communities. Interns commit 80 hours to learn gardening, communication, and leadership skills through hands-on experiences at Arcadia Farm as well as other community gardens in the Route 1 area. Interns are then paired with a L.E.G. Garden Partner where they help overall garden management and the planting and harvesting of produce. Interns receive a stipend as part of their training and

community service. 

Applications are open to students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Must be at least 14 years old

  • Rising high school grade student 

  • Live in a community serviced by a Partner Organization*

  • Interested in food, gardening, agriculture, environment

  • Dependable, organized, motivated 

  • Able to commit to a 6-month program

Arcadia is seeking partner organizations that are interested in receiving intern support for their community gardens. Partner organizations will work with Arcadia to recruit interns from their community. Partner organizations will receive advice on the design, planning, and management of their community garden from Arcadia. After the initial intern training period, the partner organizations will host 1-2 interns to complete at least 30 service hours in the community garden.  

Partner organizations benefit from having community youth helping in their garden. Having local youth supporting the garden builds ownership and investment in the success of the garden and contributes to its sustainability.  

Please email Juan Pablo Echeverria, Arcadia’s Outreach and Education Coordinator at JuanPablo@Arcadiafood.org for additional information on becoming a partner.

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Live, Eat, Grow
School Partner Program

Arcadia believes that introducing youth to where their food comes from and providing opportunities for them to grow their own food helps build a foundation for healthy living. The Live, Eat, Grow (L.E.G.) School Partner Program recognizes the important role schools play in fostering wellness in the lives of children and the surrounding community.  The program is designed to grow and support school gardens along Route 1. Becoming an L.E.G. school partner offers schools training resources, on-site assistance, and programming opportunities.  

L.E.G. School Partner Benefits:

  • A fall and spring in-person garden training session for staff and school volunteers

  • Assistance in organizing a fall and spring community planting day

  • Free seedlings for planting days

  • Consultation with Arcadia's Outreach and Education Manager about garden development/maintenance.  

  • Garden manual, resources, additional training opportunities

  • Priority scheduling for school field trips at Arcadia Farm*

  • School cafeteria taste tests for FCPS schools with salad bars.

   * cost associated with field trips.

Being part of the L.E.G. School Partner Program is completely free to schools. However, schools need to have a committed staff person/committee that can serve as a point person for the garden.  In addition, school leadership needs to be supportive of the school garden efforts. 

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