Seeking out and lifting up models of the Great Connection in action across the North District.
The Zion UMC Urban Farm and Community Garden Park continues to be a model of community partnering. Recent funding and work has again expanded the farm and garden. It has become a showcase in North Las Vegas and even Clark County and beyond.
As I drive into the Zion UMC parking lot, I am immediately drawn to the green oasis of the garden. It is vibrant, alive, and beautiful. The vegetables, herbs, and flowers are neatly ordered in the raised planting boxes which checker the plot of desert land. The pavilion and walking path invites one into the garden for a walk around the 1-acre of land which is lined with fruit trees. Right next to the garden park is the community orchard, where figs, almonds, and more are already growing. The garden is good for the body with its fresh produce, and it is also good for the soul as you stroll along the path and take in the beauty of God’s creation.
And that is only the beginning! When you dig deeper into the Zion UMC garden, you discover the story of its creation and the stewards who care for her.
Zion UMC has partnered with many agencies and organizations — the CNLV (City of North Las Vegas), CPLC (Chicanos Por La Causa), USDA-NRCS (United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service), Energy Tree, and more for funding, design, engineering, agriculture as well as laborers from around the community. They have formed the Ag Team which itself is a Great Connection of people from all needed disciplines and those who strive to be stewards and laborers of God’s garden.
And when you dig a bit deeper, you will discover that Zion UMC garden also activates the Great Connection by supporting the state legislature in an effort to increase food sustainability in our communities which lack local food sources. Several legislative bills related to food security have been passed in recent years — SB 429, 297 and AB 326.
Zion has won multiple community partnership awards for the work they are doing and received the Conservation Excellence in Agriculture award, which was the first time it was ever given to an urban program.
Oh how deep and high the Great Connections can extend as we discover partners to join in God’s vision of abundance for all people.
I asked Pastor Linda Stanley to tell me some of the purpose and gift of the farm and community garden. Linda said, “the best of the Zion UMC Urban Farm & Community Garden Park is the example Zion UMC is setting for Southern Nevada on how to grow food in the Mojave Desert while making fresh food accessible. Zion’s program is part of the North Las Vegas Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA) initiative, which is working to improve the quality of life for the community.”
Well done Zion UMC and friends — well done! Click Here for a Zion garden slide show.
In Christ’s Care,