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Our Urban Village Launches Resident Garden in Uptown Phoenix
PHOENIX, AZ (December 7, 2020) — After a 15-year career working in the nonprofit sector and seeing companies swoop in for a one-time volunteer event or participate in a “big check” presentation, Lori Motola knew there was a better way for businesses and nonprofits to collaborate; one that could benefit companies and employees and create lasting change in local communities. Since launching her company in January, Our Urban Village has worked with partners to implement a public mural, coordinated a food distribution program, and teamed up with ASU to study the impact of public art. Her most recent project is the development of a resident garden at Villa Hermosa, a recently renovated apartment community in Uptown Phoenix.
In all partnerships, whether short term or long term, Motola says she works with clients to create a custom social responsibility strategy, then plan and execute impactful events or programs that align with that strategy.
“I was on the hunt for a forward-thinking developer willing to create an onsite garden. I was introduced to Neighborhood Ventures through a mutual connection who thought this crowdfunding real estate company could benefit from my input as they embarked on the renovation of Villa Hermosa, a 12-unit apartment building near 10th Street and Bethany Home Road,” says Motola.
Together, Our Urban Village and Neighborhood Ventures designed a garden that would enhance the property and serve as an engaging community focal point, improving the Villa Hermosa living experience and supplying fresh food to both residents and the community.
“Villa Hermosa isn’t your typical apartment building,” says Motola. “It’s actually owned in part by 165 Arizonans who collectively invested a total of $1 million to purchase, renovate, and ultimately sell the building for a profit. It’s part of the growing trend in a new investment opportunity: real estate crowdfunding, which I had never heard about until I got involved with Neighborhood Ventures.”
“With an apartment building that’s owned by the community, it only makes sense that we would want to create a sense of community for our residents as well,” says Neighborhood Ventures Lead Designer Rocky Petersen, who spearheaded the project with Our Urban Village. “I can’t say enough about Lori’s passion and drive. As a result of our working with Lori, we redesigned Villa Hermosa from a standard hardscape to include a community garden with a sitting area for residents to be able to enjoy nature’s bounty, even in an urban setting!”
The garden includes four irrigated raised planter beds that will be planted with seasonal vegetables, a grapefruit tree, lemon tree, and two orange trees. Residents will maintain the boxes, harvest what they can use, and Neighborhood Ventures will harvest and donate the remainder to local food banks.
“We’re excited about our garden, and it feels great to be a part of building better communities and stronger connections to our environment,” says Petersen.
About Our Urban Village
Using insider nonprofit expertise, Our Urban Village curates innovative corporate giving initiatives which develop new business, establish and affirm conscious brands, and fill community needs. From social media movements to onsite or virtual events, the company’s all-inclusive campaigns offer ideation, execution, strategic partners and tools to share the story. Or clients may opt to take a more active role in implementation with a DIY bundle. Either way, Our Urban Village handles the good so companies can handle their business.