City Of Peoria: Mayor’s Youth Program Gains Green Infrastructure, Landscaping Experience At Well Farm

July 20, 2021

The Peoria City Mayor’s Youth Public Works Program partnered with PeoriaCorps this week to tackle the cleanup of the city’s well farm in the Voris field.

The mayor’s youth program mission is rooted in a commitment to improve the city’s green infrastructure and support rainwater supplies. The group of 13 working students conquered almost 100 plant boxes in two days – weeding, digging up soil and spreading mulch to prepare the site for future growth opportunities.

“We’re calling on the public to come up and say, ‘Hey, I want to take on this project,'” said She Maroon, assistant manager of Peoria Public Works.

Maroon’s operations department inherited the green space when Greenprint Partners handed the project over to the city in 2019.

“We had a lot of interest in the space, but we didn’t have anyone with a long-term plan to come forward and do the planting and harvesting part. Nobody manages the urban agriculture,” Maroon said.

Well Farm is home to three different elements of green infrastructure – including urban agriculture, pollution and water filtration, and urban forestry. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, urban agriculture has remained untouched since fall 2019, but other areas of the site have received some attention. In 2021, PeoriaCorps planted native flowers in one of the site’s larger biosales. The combination of deeply rooted plants and infrastructure reduces the speed of rainwater runoff while removing pollutants from the runoff.

“This location is a jewel in our green infrastructure toolbox,” says Andrea Klopfenstein, city engineer. “From organic whales to our urban forest, it really offers a lot of variety that benefits our environment. We just need a solution to the original concept of urban agriculture. We have to find an answer or an alternative use for this space. “

If you, or an organization you know, has a proven larger-scale sustainable business model and is interested in planting and harvesting the urban garden, please contact Alex Williams, Public Works Communications Specialist at awilliams @ peoriagov. org.

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The Well Farm is the winner of the US Water Alliance’s 2019 US Water Prize, the 2019 Illinois Green Alliance Emerald Award, and the Sun Foundation’s 2019 Making Waves Award.

This press release has been prepared by the City of Peoria. The views expressed here are your own.

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