A food desert is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as “Parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas.” The low-income communities of the Chollas Creek Watershed experience these fresh food deficits, resulting in associated diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Groundwork San Diego is working hard to improve access to and educate about the benefits of nutritious foods.

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1) The EarthLab Farm: Approximately .25 acres of the EarthLab is being turned into a working farm. Soil preparation and crop cultivation activities are aligned to student learning objectives, while at the same time teaching the benefits of healthy eating.

2) The Chollas Creek Waterkeepers initiative is enlisting students and their families in a campaign to capture and reuse graywater and rainwater. Captured water resources are directed to drought- tolerant edible home landscapes. Home rain barrel, graywater, and low-water edible landscape installations are led by industry experts and supported by Groundwork High School Green Team trainees. The Chollas Creek Waterkeepers model, once designed and evaluated through the initiative, will be replicated in Southeastern San Diego neighborhoods throughout the Chollas Creek Watershed.