Sustainable Communities Network is a  commnity-based  non-profit organization located in Lexington, Ky that endeavors to educate, inspire, build, create and empower sustainable cities

2010 Fundraising Letter
FR Letter with links

We welcome any amount of contributions to our on-going programs.
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We encourage you to read our

SCN Annual Report 2009

Back 2 Nature project Report

Sustainable Communities Network contributed articles, photographs and quotes for this book.


Join the Bluegrass garden network!

For list of current Community Gardens  in Lexington,





Sustainable Communities Network

Changing lives & landscapes


Dear Community friends,

 As this year comes to an end we ask you to invest in the future –and support Sustainable Communities Network in 2011! Here’s why:

Over the past year as our economic situation has worsened producing higher unemployment and increasing costs of fuel and food, people everywhere are struggling to maintain their household and meet their basic needs. These developments have generated a renewed interest and an increasing necessity for growing our own food. Consequently we have received many phone calls, emails and on the street requests for support in establishing school, backyard and community gardens. 

Sustainable Communities Network as been supporting these requests in many ways: organizing neighborhood meetings, sharing tools and resources, offering advice, preparing grants, hiring and training youth, organizing volunteers, distributing plants and seeds, connecting with farmers, creating web-based resources, speaking at every opportunity and yes digging in the dirt!

We ask for your generous support  so we can continue to respond to the growing needs. Here’s a brief look (full descriptions with pictures on our website) at what we have accomplished in 2010:

 we helped establish the garden at One Parent Scholar House/Virginia Place where single women and their children had their very first experience with growing their own food and eating veggies right out of the garden. Raised beds for families and pre-school classes were painted and planted with herbs, corn, yams, peanuts, okra, squash, tomatoes, peppers, flowers and much more!  Some evenings we worked in the garden past sunset and under the full moon. These women and children were such a tremendous hit on the Community Garden Tour!

·                  we continued our support of the Kid’s Garden at the Chrysalis House for Women where women with addiction gain the needed support. Our weekly garden and art projects enhanced the site with fruit trees, berry bushes, lots of veggies, bird feeders, flowers and colorful art installations. There is so much joy and fulfillment when the children’s eyes beam from what they have produced!

·                  other gardens that we supported included: Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program; Nelson Ave with youth in Drug Court; Catholic Action Center; The Learning Center; Winburn Community Art Garden, Aids Volunteers of Lexington, numerous faith congregations and  k-12 schools.

·                     we collaborated with community partners to host the Bluegrass Food Security Summit that featured tracks on food security in KY, integrating school gardens into curriculum  and faith community involvement.  The seed of an idea for the faith community involvement in gleaning was planted at the Summit and harvested throughout the summer in the form of Faith Feeds.

·                     our other interaction with the faith community included: 1) we designed and facilitated a weekend retreat, Stewardship of Creation, for women with Pax Christi Catholic Church, 2)  we gave sermons at Resurrection Episcopal Church and Unitarian Universalist Church on sacred Earth connections, and 3)we  presented garden workshops at Centenary United Methodist, St John’s Baptist, Beaumont Presbyterian, Bradford Acres Christian and Calvary Baptist Churches.

·                   we organized the 4th Annual Community Garden Tour that involved travel by buses and bicycles for 150 people;  designed and facilitated several community garden workshops; provided service opportunities for 1,000+ volunteers;  hosted visitors from Egypt, Detroit, St Paul/MN, Bolivia and gleaned 2000+ pounds of fresh vegetables for area food banks,

·                  for 5 days in April we hosted our dear friend Asenath Andrews, principal of the Catherine Ferguson Academy(CFA) in Detroit. This school for teen mothers and their children which boasts a working urban farm was the subject of the award winning film, Grown in Detroit. We were blessed to accompany Asenath and the film for showings in Lexington, Louisville and Berea. These films showings helped raise $3,000 to support the travel of 10 young women from CFA to attend the Youth Entrepreneurship Conference in South Africa where they provided training to other conference participants on urban agriculture and helped build gardens in Soweto.

·                   we facilitated creation of the Fresh Solutions project with Catholic Action Center and Employment Solutions that now includes: 1)a  community hoop house that provided food and a garden experience for homeless citizens and adults with disabilities, 2) a worm composting operation,3) hot composting of 500 lbs of food scraps each week, 4) a service learning site for Eagle Scouts, school and faith groups,  and 5) art installations from found objects.

·                  we received national recognition: 1) as a finalist in the Garden Crusader of the Year award by Garden Supply, 2) selected as a USA delegate to Terra Madre-International Slow Food gathering held in Torino, Italy.

·                  we supported the Good Foods Co-op, KET and One World film series that included such films as The Garden, Grown in Detroit, Dirt-The Movie, The Real Dirt on Farmer John, Black Gold, Hemp Revolution.

·                  we served on  the board of Environmental Commission, Lexington Climate Action Plan Team, Good Foods Co-op, Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden, Bluegrass Partnership for A Green Community, Winburn Community Action Advisory Board, Central KY Council for Peace and Justice.

·                  our media coverage included  interviews, articles and videos: Kentucky Green TV, Urban Farming magazine, WKYT-TV Noon News, Skirt magazine, ACE weekly, Lexington Herald Leader, Natural Awakening, Progressive Radio Network,

 ·                  we participated in and served as speakers at: 1) state (KY Association for Environmental Education, Local Food Healthy Farms, Green Housing Summit, Festival of Faiths/Sacred Soil) and national conferences (Growing Food and Justice Gathering, Cincinnati Food Congress, Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group), 2) TED-Lex, Frankfort Rotary Club, and 3) universities; pre-schools, elementary, middle and high schools.

·                  we served as co-authors of Sustainable World Sourcebook, Encyclopedia of Northern KY, African American Heritage Guide to Lexington, and 8 Acres of History-African Cemetery No.2 film documentary.

·                     we met with 1st Lady of Kentucky Jane Beshear and other state government staff to develop a comprehensive strategy for our statewide effort to expand school and community gardening.                

We are literally in the trenches providing support for families and communities who wish to become more self-reliant by growing and eating some of their own food while also developing the partnerships that create a more sustainable local economy.  Please take time to read more details about these exciting initiatives and our other work on our website. http://sustainlex.org/


HELP US continue our work in 2011... Make a contribution !!

Help us nurture sustainable communities that are ecologically healthy, socially just, economically vibrant and spiritually fulfilling.

            Your contributions to Sustainable Communities Network will allow us to remain responsive to the growing needs and open to the opportunities that gardens, healthy food and sustainable living bring to our communities. Please consider making a contribution that will support our programs to empower, inspire and educate our communities about social justice, sustainable living and sacred Earth connections ….especially the youth!!

Consider these ways to contribute:

  • Please consider making a  financial donation, yearly or monthly, by credit card or by check (to SCN, 573 Stratford Dr. Lexington, KY 40503).  
  • Please consider holding a House Party For Sustainable Communities Network 
  • Volunteer with our community initiatives, join our network and bring your ideas
  • Invite us to speak at your school, university, faith community, or conference
  • Be creative...suggest other ways that you can contribute to this important work.

We are very grateful for your continued support and involvement and look forward to enhancing our relationship with you in 2011. And we appreciate all the work that you are doing to build sustainable communities.


We wish you and your family continued peace, purpose and prosperity in the NEW YEAR!!!


Sustainably yours,   

 Jim Embry, Director



ACE Weekly download articles

Gardens of Eatin

Shovel Ready

Lexington Gardens Grow

Dig It: Gardens Root

HOBY Eco-Art 2009
HOBY Eco-Art 2008

Model of the Year
Closing the Food Gap

Greening of Bryan Station High School

Growing Food & Justice conference

Community Garden Tour Report

Gardening with Class

The Great Work

The Great Turning

Farm to School

School gardens

Catherine Ferguson Academy

Catherine Ferguson "O" magazine article

Asenath Andrews

 Grown in Detroit_


Food and Sacred Earth Connections

Religion and Environment

Closing the Food Gap 2008

Profile of Food Policy Councils by State

interactive map of food policy councils

 Climate Change  portal information

Climate Change Books

African Americans Climate Change:Unequal Burden_REPORT

African Americans Climate Change Ex Summary

Slow Food Newsletter