Founded in 2012, the Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville (UACC) is the continuation of an urban agriculture project called QCC Farms, started by the Quality Community Council (QCC). The idea for QCC Farms began with a group of residents at Friendship Court and 6th Street who were looking for a way to bridge the social barriers between their communities. The project started with a series of community conversations which culminated in our breaking ground at the Friendship Court Garden in May of 2007 and the 6th Street garden in June. When QCC disbanded in 2011, committed local residents and volunteers formed UACC to continue the valuable work of bringing community members together through urban agriculture. UACC has a joint plan of work with Virginia Organizing, a 501(c)(3) organization that accepts grants and donations on our behalf.
You can make a secure online donation to support our work by clicking HERE.
While the gardens are the most visible part of UACC’s work, it is the intangible aspects of our work that makes gardening together a catalyst for social change. The more important and difficult work begins when we foster communication between people from different neighborhoods. When people who would not otherwise meet work side by side in the garden, they begin a conversation that helps break down the social barriers that separate them. When a young volunteer from 6th Street shares a farm token with an older person living in Crescent Halls, she develops an appreciation for the interconnected and intergenerational nature of life in an urban community. When a volunteer from Belmont forms a relationship with a volunteer from Friendship Court, each gains a new perspective on how their lives overlap. Through trusting relationships, we create a network of community support that goes far beyond growing food.
Like building healthy relationships, making healthy food choices is tied to positive life experiences. From the child who will always remember the taste of the first cucumber he picked fresh off the vine in the Friendship Court garden, to the grandmother who comes to market day each week and tells stories of picking beans in her mother’s country garden, positive experiences with food lead to healthy lifelong habits. By working together to grow and share healthy food, we create a strong foundation upon which to build a healthier community.
As potential re-development approaches the Ridge Street Neighborhood, where our gardens are located, UACC’s role in the communities we serve must necessarily evolve. The UACC leadership team and volunteer base make up an informed and empowered community of individuals ready to advocate for the wellbeing of their neighborhoods.
Contact us for more information by clicking HERE.