With deep gratitude and appreciation for catalyzing Oklahoma City’s resiliency, sustainability and health, last October Transition OKC presented the second Community Catalyst Award to Elia Woods, co-founder of CommonWealth Urban Farms, located in the Central Park Neighborhood. Wood’s vision led her to form a small group of people who began meeting in the fall of 2010 with the common goal of turning vacant lots in central Oklahoma City into food-producing green spaces designed to benefit surrounding neighborhoods. Her inclusive leadership has led many to join in and help develop the urban farm sites, composting systems and educational programming.
Woods began cultivating her urban farm in 2011. Veggies are sold through the farms’ CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) a.k.a. the Veggie Club, as well as to local restaurants. In addition the farms grow cut flowers in partnership with friends at Guilford Gardens in northwest Oklahoma City, and offer bouquets and bulk flowers for direct sale.
More recently, Woods’ and CommonWealth’s determination and commitment to help their community led to Oklahoma City Thunder player, Kyle Singler, to donate $10,000 after visiting the farm and being impressed with their mission of providing fresh, healthy, locally grown food to the community. Woods said the money will be used to buy tools and improve the farms’ infrastructure.
Transition OKC created the Community Catalyst Award to recognize unsung heroes in the Oklahoma City community who work collaboratively and inclusively with individuals, organizations and businesses to catalyze more resilient, sustainable and healthy communities, and Elia Woods reflects the award’s purpose in every way. Talented local artists, Rick and Tracey Bewley designed the Community Catalyst Award. See more of their amazing work at Art Fusion Studio.
Warmest wishes for Elia’s and the farms’ continued success, and if you’d like to be a part of growing their vision, every Saturday morning CommonWealth hosts CommonWork, an opportunity for volunteers to dig in and get in some hands-on experience in urban farming. More about CommonWork here.
Thank you Elia and CommonWealth for being a part of Oklahoma City’s journey to resilience!