The Prairie Rose Collective is the environmental justice work group of the Quad Cities chapter of the DSA. We are a non-profit dedicated to social organizing and political activism, and as such we are dedicated to the building of a more equitable, prosperous world, by basing our production of food and use of resources on more sustainable and democratic systems. We believe that we should all give according to our abilities to the greater good based on needs of the many; and that food, knowledge, and the beauty of an individual’s internal and external world are universal human needs, and are therefore human rights.
Food is one of the most intersectional topics — everybody eats. It is for this reason that we are working on founding and maintaining several community permaculture projects throughout the area. We are partnering with Quad Cities Food Forest Coalition and the Quad Cities Waterkeeper of the Upper Mississippi Valley on these projects. A representative from United Neighbors has promised us two lots that we can garden. We also have the 50 Front Yards Project, which is approaching private landowners to ask them to pledge to abandon their lawns to more sustainable and creative models. We will begin planting this spring, choosing nutritious and approachable crops, maximizing yield, planting prairie strips for pollinators, incorporating indigenous plants as much as possible, rebuilding soil, and accommodating wildlife. All the food and herbs will be free to the public, and our surplus will be donated to local soup kitchens.
Prairie Rose Food Forest
By far the largest project we are undertaking is installing a food forest behind the Davenport Public Library’s Fairmount branch. This project will combat the food desert in the area and perhaps siphon profits from Wal-Mart and keeping them in the pockets of the people that live nearby.
The food forest will have three main elements:
- The first is that there will be a shed where anyone with a library card can come and check out whatever tools they might need for whatever their gardening project may be. We are also proposing to set up a seed exchange program where resident gardeners could receive free heirloom seeds, and network with other residents gardeners to coordinate their yearly crops.
- The second element is art and education. The design will incorporate stone pathways, a hopscotch ground and a labyrinth. The forest grounds would incorporate letters from the Latin letters of the modern English alphabet and the Phoenician alphabet. We are also proposing comfortable reading benches and outdoor study areas be incorporated into the grounds.
- The last element of the forest will be wildlife shelters and food. We plan to install man-made structures to house various environmentally important types of animals, as well as sites near any windows to attract birds, butterflies and pollinators.
The Great Gaia Gala Fundraiser
The Great Gaia Gala is an event to raise funds for all of these efforts.
When: Earth Day (April 22, 2018) from 4PM to Midnight
Where: The Village Theatre (2113 East 11th Street, Davenport, IA 52803)
Tickets: $12 and the event is open to people age 21 and older
About: It will feature a wide variety of musical and other performing artists to entertain as well as a number speakers on environmental justice issues, and a DIY fashion show. Upstairs will be vendors and our pop-up thrift shop full of up-cycled pieces and stylish secondhand clothing. Outside the venue where there will be chalk artists, hula hoopers, and flow dancers, as well as a seed exchange. Half of all proceeds of the door will go to our performers and the rest will be put towards installing food forests, prairie restoration, pollinator habitats, and sustainable community gardens in various properties throughout the Quad Cities and surrounding area.
If you would like to get involved with the Prairie Rose Collective reach out to the Quad Cities DSA.