ROCK SPRINGS — Rock Springs Main Street/URA was one of 13 community organizations to receive a Wyoming Business Council Farm Wall grant in early April.
Farm walls are small, vertical growing systems that don’t require soil. These living walls date back to the ancient hanging gardens of Babylon, according to a press release from the WBC.
Their small footprint allows food to be grown and harvested within city limits and crowded urban areas, offering another option for bringing fresh produce to more people. The lush greenery also adds aesthetic value to otherwise bare, unused space.
The WBC granted 13 awards in seven communities throughout the state.
“We’re really excited about it. We’ll be working with the Sweetwater County Master Gardeners to maintain the garden,” said Downtown Rock Springs Director Chad Banks. “Right now we’re tentatively looking to have it right in front of our office so folks can check it out and learn about it.”
Banks added that the wall should start being installed in mid-May with planting to follow around Memorial Day weekend.
In addition to Rock Springs being selected, these communities and organizations will also receive Farm Wall grants:
- Interfaith Laramie
- Rooted in Wyoming, Sheridan
- Converse County Library, Douglas and Glenrock branches (2)
- Goshen County Main Street (4)
- City of Cody
- Casper Community Greenhouse Project (3)
Grant recipients will partner with local venues to showcase the farm walls as living art and engage with visitors and residents to educate them about growing food in town. Participants must also work to build enough community support and capacity to carry the project on after the two-year grant cycle is complete.
As part of the grant agreement, Wyoming company Bio-Logic Designs will install and maintain the walls, as well as teach the communities how to continue the project and build community engagement.
“It’s exciting to see the unique character that each community program will have,” said Travis Hines from Bio-Logic Designs. “I think this collective will create great opportunities for education, experience and community building through food in our state. I look forward to working on these awesome projects.”
The Farm Wall grants are funded through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop grant and administered by the Wyoming Department of Agriculture.