In 2015 the City of Newburgh and the Newburgh Community Land Bank with the support of the City of Newburgh’s Community Development Block Grant funding embarked on a project to establish the Downing Park Urban Farm (DPUF) and provide outreach to the community to generate a greater understanding of urban gardening.
Since 2015, collaborations with community leaders and organizations have been built to foster the development of gardens throughout the City, and to provide a vehicle for the donation of excess produce to existing City feeding programs.
Collaborators have included:
- Newburgh Armory Unity Center
- Downing Park Urban Farm
- Grand Street Community Garden, at the Dutch Reformed Church
- Hudson Valley Seed
- NHS Center for Hope
- Latinos Unidos
- Orange County Cornell Cooperative Extension
- Downing Park Planning Committee
- Newburgh Community Land Bank
- Orange County Department of Health
- Orange County Land Trust
- City of Newburgh Department of Planning and Development
This effort continues to be broad-based and seeks to increase collaborations with additional community representatives.
Virginia Kasinki and Liana Hoodes coordinate the efforts of the Newburgh Urban Farm and Food Initiative
Virginia Kasinki, Newburgh, NY
Virginia is the Program Director for NUFFI, overseeing organizational development and community outreach. Since 2015, she was the Outreach Coordinator for the Downing Park Urban Farm. Virginia was the former Director of Community-Based Programs at Glynwood and was responsible for Glynwood’s Keep Farming Program which is designed to help communities identify the many ways in which agriculture contributes to their wellbeing. She has extensive experience with planning community-based programs and in training and coaching local leaders. She is also an experienced meeting organizer and facilitator. Virginia is a Newburgh native.
Liana Hoodes, Walker Valley, NY
Liana is a Program Manager to NUFFI, coordinating programs and outreach . In 2017, she served as the program coordinator at the Downing Park Urban Farm. She has worked since 1994 on a wide range of organic/sustainable agriculture policy issues, and is currently the Policy Advisor to NOFA-NY. Liana was the Executive Director of the National Organic Coalition, working extensively on federal organic and sustainable agriculture policy. She currently works on federal and state policy issues to advance organic food and agriculture. Liana provides technical assistance on urban gardening and food projects in Newburgh.