St. Louis County SHIP Initiatives

The City of Virginia  is a Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) community.

The Rutabaga Project: Growing Solutions in Virginia

History shows us hunger and gardens can bring people together. In 1918, the City of Virginia War Gardens committee published an ad in the local newspaper asking for “idle lands and plots…so that the War Gardens may be allotted to prospective users.”

Community gardens are springing back to life in the city of Virginia. SHIP, along with support from a Community Wellness Grant, is working with the Rutabaga Project. This important group, with a memorable name, consists of citizens concerned with food access for those living with low incomes.

Because of the strength in partnerships, the group is now collaborating with the Virginia City Council and the Housing Redevelopment Authority of Virginia, to use properties for four community gardens. You can find them on Chestnut Street, Pine Mill Court, just North off the Bailey’s Lake bridge, and in the North side Park.

These collaborations have also allowed for the Virginia Farmers Market to be opened, offer EBT acceptance, and offer matchings funds for EBT customers.

With input from the community, this food access group continues to seek out more solutions for equitable food access for all residents of Virginia to acquire all kinds of fresh produce, beyond the rutabaga.

To learn more about SHIP work in the community contact Ray Jobe

at (218) 471-7608 or email: JobeR@StLouisCountyMN.gov