An abundance of fresh vegetables generously distributed to neighboring communities off the rez one year ago during the pandemic lockdown marked the first time many Globe residents had ever heard of the San Carlos Apaches’ Nalwoodi Denzhone Community Garden. If that name is also unfamiliar to you, please read on – see photos of the garden on Facebook – and attend this week’s free online cooperative extension webinar to learn more about this unique community garden, affiliated children’s summer camp, and other ways Nalwoodi Denzhone volunteers are committed to healthy living and positive changes for San Carlos Apache people. See photos of garden-fresh veggies at apachendc.org/garden; click other links to see happy children participating with summer camp activities at apachendc.org/education. The website makes it conveniently easy to donate, too. For details call 480-734-5210 or email info@apachendc.org; and please join, like and follow at facebook.com/apacheNDC

Juan Arias, FRTEP Agent/Eric Project Manager, and NDC Vice President Carrie Curley are the special guest speakers at 11 a.m., Thursday, June for this week’s gardening webinar hosted online and free through University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Gila County.

The easiest, most convenient way to connect is via ‘click here’ direct hotlinks at extension.arizona.edu/gila, where you can also view dozens of prior Thursday webinar topics ranging from soil preparation to winter gardening, container gardening and more.

University of Arizona Gila County Cooperative Extension Agent Chris Jones hosts this popular series, and Cooperative Extension’s website has an array of links to programs, talks and resources. Links are also conveniently posted each week on Facebook, where you can join Jones and a network of Gila County gardeners at facebook.com/gilaextension. To be added to an email invite list for these gardening and horticulture workshops call Jones at 928)-402-8586 or email ckjones@email.arizona.edu

NDC History

Founder Bryce Barnes was teaching at the San Carlos Detention Center and his heart was stirred for the youth who were in and out of jail for drug and alcohol abuse, truancy, and violence among other crimes. Hearing stories about reservation life and looking into the eyes of kids who were just trying to survive in such a harsh environment moved him. At times, the injustice toward the youth was overwhelming to him. Because there was no transition center at the time, some of the youth were housed in detention due to homelessness or for their own safety. Barnes pursued a vision of developing a way for struggling youth and their families to receive hands-on education, inspiration, and life skills training in a peaceful, life-giving, and transformational environment.

When Bryce was exposed to the unused land at the 80-acre Dripping Springs location in San Carlos, the vision was sparked to use this space to help people rehabilitate and transition from their time in detention. NDC started in 2012, and has expanded its mission to include prevention and community revitalization efforts for all ages. Today, through partnerships and collaborations with both tribal and non-tribal people and entities, it has a facility on the Dripping Springs property and is in the initial stages of the Nnee Nalwoodi Life Center for youth and families.

NDC has drawn seeds of hope from the strength of deeply rooted community ties and the beauty of the pervasive creative spirit of this community. Whether it’s through community gardening, support groups, open mic nights, jiu jitsu club, or children’s summer camp, the aim is to sow those seeds back into growing a culture of hope that heals

The team

Nalwoodi Denzhone Community’s team is a collective of tribal and non-tribal members invested in the San Carlos Apache community. Some were born and raised in the region, while others have come from all over the U.S. to work in healthcare, art, education, corrections, and other public service areas in San Carlos. What they all share is a great love and appreciation for this beautiful and strong community of people who stand in the face of generations of trauma and injustice. Team members include Bryce Barnes, board president; ‘CC’ Curley, board vice president (and groundskeeper!); Anita Lee, board treasurer; Marcella James, board member; Jessica Doong, board member; Elijah Albert, board member; and Eric Shin, project manager.

Partners

The program would not have accomplished all it has without the help and support of community volunteers, local organizations and businesses, tribal departments, private donors, and granting agencies including: the San Carlos Apache Tribe, Tribal Farms, and Forestry Department; San Carlos Training Institute, San Carlos Juvenile Justice System; San Carlos Environmental Protection Agency; San Carlos Apache College; San Carlos Diabetes Prevention Program; San Carlos Unified School District; San Carlos Juvenile Diversion Committee; Gila County Board of Supervisors; University of Arizona Cooperative Extension & FRTEP Tribal Extension; First Things First; The Schoolhouse Cooperative; Freeport-McMoRan; U of A Engineers Without Borders; ASU School of Sustainability; Gila Watershed Partnership; United Food Bank; Local First Arizona; United Way of Graham and Greenlee County; Arizona Food Bank Network; Apex Applied Technology Inc.; Partnership with Native Americans; Cenpatico.

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