New "Grow Lake County" website provides local food information hub

 
Emily Weber
Updated 7/13/2018 10:40 AM
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GRAYSLAKE--The Liberty Prairie Foundation in partnership with The Lake County Community Foundation is excited to announce the launch of "Grow Lake County," a new website designed to help people find locally grown food, support local farmers, and get involved in the County's robust food movement.

Are you looking for a farmers market or farm stand in Lake County, or want to learn how to grow food to feed your family? Do you want to get involved in efforts underway to feed hungry neighbors throughout the County? Growlakecounty.org is the new place to do that and so much more. The site includes an interactive map that displays: farmers markets, farm stands, community supported agriculture (CSAs), community gardens, restaurants that source local food, grocers that source local food, and agri-tourism in Lake County. The site also includes profiles highlighting the incredible organizations engaged in gardening efforts, youth agriculture education, fresh food access, agriculture-based workforce development, and more. Residents will be able to filter profiles by community and project type (ex: youth education, fresh food access, etc.), to see what is happening in their community and what volunteer opportunities are available.

"Lake County is fortunate to have incredible family farms growing food to feed their communities and numerous groups dedicated to feeding our hungry neighbors through community-based gardening efforts," said Emily Weber, Director of Community Food Systems at the Liberty Prairie Foundation. "We wanted to provide a space to help people find and purchase local food to support area farmers, show residents how they can get involved, and provide resources for local food stakeholders including consumers, farmers, gardeners, nonprofits, and others in the County."

The site was developed with funding support from The Lake County Community Foundation, and in partnership with the Lake County Local Food Task Force, comprised of: Liberty Prairie Foundation, College of Lake County, Food Revolution Lake County, Freemont Township Community Garden, Fuller Center for Housing Hero Project Lake County, Lake County Farm Bureau, and the University of Illinois Extension Lake and McHenry office.

Over the past few years, the Task Force found that many surrounding counties had websites that provided a great deal of information about their respective food systems and community-based efforts. However, Lake County lacked this resource so the team set out to create a one-stop resource about local food in the County.

The site includes a vast amount of information such as an easy guide to growing food and resources for novice to experienced gardeners. Liberty Prairie Foundation's close partner, the Northern Illinois Food Bank, is highlighted along with resources for nonprofits, consumers, farmers, schools, community gardens, and much more.

The Liberty Prairie Foundation is in year two of a multi-year grant investment by The Lake County Community Foundation designed to further the coordination of existing local efforts, inform local food policy and promote and support local, sustainable food production.

"We are thrilled about the launch of the Grow Lake County site and see it as an innovative way to better coordinate Lake County's food system and encourage residents to get involved," said Maggie Morales, LCCF's Director of Community Leadership & Investment.

The Liberty Prairie Foundation is grateful for the incredible support of The Lake County Community Foundation and is pleased to offer this resource to the County. Please visit the site at www.growlakecounty.org and email Emily@libertyprairie.org with questions.

About the Liberty Prairie Foundation

The Liberty Prairie Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private operating foundation located in Grayslake, Illinois. We are nationally recognized as a leader in developing and supporting enterprises that build and strengthen our local food system while enhancing the natural landscape. Since 1993, the Liberty Prairie Foundation has provided leadership and financial support for sustainable local food system development, social entrepreneurship, conservation, and environmental education. We envision a world where people of all ages are deeply connected to their food, land and community, and therefore make choices toward sustainable systems in nature and society.

The Foundation is headquartered at the Prairie Crossing Farm, our working organic farm nestled inside Prairie Crossing, the nationally recognized conservation community. For more information, visit www.libertyprairie.org. Follow the Foundation on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PrairieCrossingFarm/.

About The Lake County Community Foundation

The Lake County Community Foundation, an affiliate of The Chicago Community Trust, brings together philanthropists and donors, dollars and ideas to build permanent funds to benefit Lake County, Illinois -- today and for generations to come. Since 2003, LCCF has grown to over $12 million in assets, and has served as a catalyst for generosity and change; a connector of people and organizations; and as the permanent steward of charitable funds dedicated improving the lives of the most vulnerable residents of Lake County.

LCCF has awarded grants totaling nearly $5 million to nonprofit agencies serving the residents of Lake County and beyond. The organization provides leadership on key issues, insight on emerging trends and helps donors learn more about local needs to make their giving as effective as possible. Through collective philanthropy and by partnering with others, LCCF's donors help make a greater impact together than any one organization can make alone.

For more information, visit http://www.lakecountycf.org. Follow the Foundation on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/The-Lake-County-Community-Foundation-158332597322/ or on LinkedIN at https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-lake-county-community-foundation/.

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