Event: Ride4ECO Fundraiser for ECO City Farms
Event Date: May 3, 2014, 10am-2pm
Location: Cole Fieldhouse at University of Maryland to ECO City Farms, 4913 Crittenden Street, Edmonston, MD 20781
Contact: Susan Shuller, 513-478-2386
Ride4ECO to promote sustainable farming, Healthy Eating and Active Living in Prince George’s County
5 mile fun bike ride to raise funds for a bike stop at ECO City Farms @ Edmonston along the Anacostia River Trail
Edmonston, MD—On Saturday, May 3rd, residents in Prince George’s County and students of University of Maryland will come together for the Ride4ECO, a fun 5 mile bike ride to raise funds for a bike stop at ECO City Farms in Edmonston along the Anacostia River Trail. The bike stop will offer interpretive signage, highlighting the story of African American farmers that cultivated the area, directional trail signs, a picnic table, a tire fill station, a water fountain and a bike rack. “The goal is to connect the farm and urban farming more generally with the imaginations of users of the adjacent Anacostia trail,” says Margaret Morgan-Hubbard, CEO of ECO City Farms.
The Ride4ECO will be held on May 3, 2014 starting at the Cole Fieldhouse at the University of Maryland at 10am. Riders will ride along the Anacostia River Trail to ECO City Farms in Edmonston at 4913 Crittenden Street, Edmonston, MD 20781 where they can celebrate at a Farm Open House from 12pm-2pm. The Farm Open House, which features farm tours, healthy snacks, a silent auction and other fun activities is expected to draw more than 200 people. Attendees can try out ECO’s famous ‘Smoothie Bike’, which allows them to pedal their way to a fruity treat, see how food is grown at ECO City Farms, and taste healthy food samples.
Many neighborhoods in the Port Towns of Prince George’s County, Maryland (Colmar Manor, Edmonston, Cottage City and Bladensburg) are considered to be ‘food deserts’: areas where there is very limited access to fresh and affordable food. ECO City Farms and Port Towns Community Health Partnership–a collaboration of community residents, organizations and funders–are all working together in the Port Towns to break down the barriers to food access and promote HEALing (healthy eating and active living).
ECO City Farms is a food oasis in an area largely made up of strip malls, car repair shops, fast-food restaurants and processed food minimarts. “More than 70% of residents in the Port Towns are overweight or obese, with health issues, such as diabetes, related to poor eating habits,” notes Morgan-Hubbard. “We are working to make healthy eating an easy choice for all.”
Located in a working class neighborhood on the Anacostia River, in Edmonston, Maryland, ECO City Farms is adjacent to the new Anacostia bike trail. This trail, which connects Prince George’s County to Washington, DC and Montgomery County, is not only used by recreational bicyclists on the weekends, it is also used as a transportation corridor by people in the Edmonston community. The bike stop will bring more people to ECO City Farms and orient them to the farming history of the area. Founded by free blacks who established farms here and prospered, Edmonston has had strong roots in farming since before the war of 1812. This project aims to illuminate and connect riders to the stories of people, past and present, who live and work here.
Ride4ECO needs to raise $5,000 to match a grant from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority to construct the bike stop. This means that every dollar donated generates $2 in support! Registration for the Ride4ECO and donations can be made at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ride4eco. However, the Ride4ECO is not just a day-long fundraiser. It is an opportunity to support a more sustainable and healthy future for the Prince George’s County Community.