About Victory Gardens Initiative
Victory Garden Initiative is a nonprofit located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin whose mission is to create a community backed and sustainable, nutritious food system for all, through building communities that grow their own food. Their slogan is: “This is a grassroots movement. Move grass. Grow food.” Victory Garden Initiative believes that every person, in every household, can connect to their food source through the act of growing their own food.
Victory Garden runs many programs that help support community members growing their own food, including running their own 1.5 acre urban farm where they grow food for the community and their Move Grass Classes, which provide education opportunities for the community on a number of topics to help community members successfully grow their own food. Victory Garden also runs many youth education programs, including after-school gardening clubs, student field trips to their farm, and an Eat & Learn program for students.
Since the nonprofit’s founding in 2009, Victory Gardens has worked with community members to help install 3,500 gardens within the community, plant over 25 fruit orchards in low-income neighborhoods, and have taught thousands of adults and children how to grow their own food.
Photo Credit: Victory Gardens Initiative
Solar Project Led by RE-volv’s Solar Ambassadors
The RE-volv Solar Ambassadors at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) helped bring solar to the River Revitalization Foundation in 2018 and again helped bring solar to Victory Gardens in 2020! UWM Solar Ambassadors ran the project by selecting the nonprofit and ran a community engagement campaign to help educate the community about the importance of solar energy and Victory Garden’s new solar array.
Nathan Tennies, a UWM RE-volv Solar Ambassador from 2016-2020, helped bring solar to Victory Gardens and says, “After seeing their location, I thought that what they were doing was really cool, as they have an impressive urban farm and they are doing something that can help build the community and make things better in their location in west Milwaukee.” What Nathan enjoyed most about this project was, “Learning about their mission, and realizing how we could help them out while taking broader actions against climate change.”
Going Solar with RE-volv
Victory Garden Initiative went solar with RE-volv in 2020 through a 9 kW solar system that will avoid more than 383,800 lbs of CO2 emissions over the life of the system, while saving Victory Gardens more than $22,000 on the electricity bills. Victory Gardens will be able to invest these savings back into their mission of expanding urban gardens to create a sustainable, nutritious food system within Milwaukee.