More than a hundred people, including Comcast Texas employees, recently volunteered at the Blodgett Urban Garden in Houston’s Third Ward. The non-profit organization is dedicated to sustainable gardening and healthy eating. The volunteers braved the heat and humidity to pull weeds, refresh soil and trim trees. Aside from the environmental benefits gardens provide like absorbing pollutants, the garden also provides fresh, locally-grown produce to nearby residents. The community with support from Texas Southern University started the garden as a way to address an existing food desert – an area of town where access to affordable, high quality food is difficult to find.
Richard Chance is an installation manager with Comcast field operations. He said to be able to spruce up the garden ahead of Earth Day was a fantastic way to honor the planet and serve others.
“It was awesome. This was one of our volunteer events that we had the most turnout at,” Chance said. “Everybody jumped in and said what can we do? Spending time together in the dirt – saying hey we’re making a difference today – was awesome to see.”
Chance said this volunteer event made him quickly realize community gardens can be key to expanding access to fruits and vegetables. He said it was surprising to see the need in one of America’s largest cities.
“It’s nice to eat healthier. There are regions of the city where there are food deserts. You legitimately have to go find food,” Chance said. “When you’re next to such a developed area where there’s homes and a college and you’re close to downtown, you don’t understand a food desert is a thing until you see it. We need to do these things to help our community out.”
In addition to providing fresh fruit and healthy vegetables to the community, the Blodgett Urban Garden also serves as a research space for TSU students. They’re able to learn how to successfully garden in an urban setting with limited space.