Wild Elements, Support + Feed, & Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles Come Together to Launch Community-Based Hydro-Wild Initiative Addressing Food Insecurity and Climate Crisis Through Innovation
Wild Elements is teaming up with Support + Feed and Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles (BGCMLA) to launch a new community and education initiative – the Hydro-Wild Lab is a working hydroponic farm nestled in a shipping container as a learning and innovation hub for young people starting July 2022.
Through classes, community building, and hands-on sustainable agriculture experience, the Hydro-Wild Lab will deepen the connection between personal and planetary wellness while restoring food-growing power back to a Los Angeles community.
Support + Feed and Wild Elements teach students the science behind their favorite veggies
Starting in July 2022, students at the Watts-Willowbrook Club house, located in Watts on the border of Compton and one of four clubhouses within the BGCMLA region, will have access to a multi-week curriculum developed in coordination with Support + Feed and Wild Elements that teaches them the science behind their favorite veggies, the connection between personal wellness and food advocacy, and the cultural significance of gardens and growth in their own neighborhood and beyond.
The Wild Elements Hydro-Wild Lab, an innovative indoor hydroponic farm, brings together agriculture and technology to increase direct access to nutrient-dense food in an eco-conscious way while simultaneously providing students with hands-on farming experience and training.
Wild Elements Hydro-Wild Lab, an innovative indoor hydroponic farm
This unique program developed in partnership across all three organizations is tailored specifically for the Watts-Willowbrook Clubhouse students and community to address the nexus of food insecurity and the history of food systems, healthy eating, and climate change.
Hydroponic farms are superstars of sustainable agriculture and are quickly emerging as an important pathway to increase access to produce in both urban and rural environments farming provides communities with a mechanism to farm in controlled environments indoors, while in rural settings, hydroponic as they require fewer natural resources.
Wild Elements is working for a Regenerative Future
In urban areas where there is no land or healthy soil to grow food, hydroponic farms use less land than conventional ones, which helps overused fields regenerate. Hydroponic farms use up to 10 times less water than conventional farms, a benefit in drought-prone areas like California. Growing produce locally is also important as food begins to lose its nutrient-density once it’s harvested. In short, hydroponics is one key way to grow food so it benefits people and the planet.
“At Wild Elements, we’re working for a regenerative future where all living things can thrive.
We can do it with innovative programs like the Hydro-Wild Lab, which merges tech, agriculture, health, education and community empowerment, all in one shipping container.
By growing fresh produce while using less water and less land,
the Hydro-Wild Lab promotes food equity, plant-based nutrition, and sustainable agriculture,
all while investing in one vibrant neighborhood and its urban ecosystem.
Wild Elements is thrilled to partner with our friends at Support and Feed and BGCMLA
to bring this transformative pilot program to the BGCMLA students at the Watts-Willowbrook Clubhouse,”
says Nikki Eslami, Founder & CEO, Wild Elements.
Support + Feed, a non-profit organization created during the pandemic by Maggie Baird (Lifetime Climate Activist, Screenwriter and mother to Billie Eilish and FINNEAS), is partnering with Wild Elements and BGCMLA to introduce the Hydro-Wild Lab, bringing plant-based food and educational resources to today’s youth and local community organizations without access. They focus on working with community innovators that have been doing the work in their city to provide tailored resources that will be most impactful.
“Through the power of partnership, we can work together, providing strategies to address existing problems and help change the futures,” says Maggie Baird, Founder & President, Support + Feed. “This exciting step (the Hydro-Wild Lab) goes back to our mission, to support organizers and nonprofits that are already doing great work. When we pool our resources, together we can uplift the community”
Committed to sustainable impact, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles is the result of a partnership unifying Los Angeles’ Boys & Girls Clubs that have been serving youth in the region’s most vulnerable neighborhoods since 1960 including Challengers, Watts/Willowbrook, Bell Gardens, Jordan Downs, and Jordan High School sites.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles offers nationally recognized programs in three core areas to ensure the achievement and empowerment of youth and their families: Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship and Healthy Lifestyles.
“Our Watts community has been long challenged by lack of success,” states Patrick Mahoney, President & CEO Boys & Girls Clubs Metro Los Angeles. “The Hydro-Wild Lab will provide an opportunity BGCMLA youth to grow and consume healthy foods but will also serve as a critical tool for community and family dialogue around creating healthier eating habits. In a community where diabetes has a 72% higher mortality rate than the average community, the Hydro-Wild Lab will serve as a great education and awareness tool that can help save lives.”
The Hydro-Wild Lab is a pilot program that Wild Elements, in partnership with Support + Feed and Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles, plans to scale and utilize as a model to bring innovative solutions to other communities nationwide. This educational and collaborative initiative unites the strengths and networks of all three organizations and further expands critical conversations about nutrient dense food access in urban communities.
ABOUT WILD ELEMENTS
Wild Elements is an ecosystem of content, community and collective impact building a regenerative future where all kind can thrive. Aiming to reconnect people with nature – to protect biodiversity – Wild Elements champions innovation solutions and inspires our community to take small steps toward personal and planetary wellness. Central to Wild Elements’ mission is its work to shift power and vital resources to women-led environmental solutions driving change. Today’s global traditional philanthropic model only grants .2% of funds to women-led environmental work, yet women are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis. To change the game, Wild Elements distributes over 88% of its philanthropic dollars to women-led organizations. Wild Elements believes and invests in shifting narrative through inspiring storytelling to impart empathy and let good grow wild so the whole world will follow. To learn more visit wildelements.com.
ABOUT SUPPORT + FEED
Support + Feed is an intersectional nonprofit organization dedicated to creating an equitable, plant-based food system and combating food insecurity and the climate crisis. Founded in Los Angeles by Maggie Baird, Support + Feed has expanded to ten US cities, worked with over 80 community organizations, and supported local economies across the country. Currently Support + Feed is part of the Happier Than Ever Global Tour which will enable them to expand globally including in the UK and Australia. For more information, visit supportandfeed.org.
ABOUT BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS OF METRO LOS ANGELES
The mission of Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles (BGCMLA) is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Committed to sustainable impact, BGCMLA is the result of a partnership unifying Los Angeles’ Boys & Girls Clubs that have been serving youth in the region’s most vulnerable neighborhoods since 1960 including Challengers, Watts/Willowbrook, Bell Gardens, Jordan Downs, and Jordan High School sites. BGCMLA offers nationally recognized programs in three core areas to ensure the achievement and empowerment of youth and their families: Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship and Healthy Lifestyles. For more information, please visit our website at bgcmla.com.