Welcome 2017 grantees to the Pickett Endowment Grantee Blog! Please introduce yourself and your project and share a bit about how your project is progressing at this point in time.
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My name is Clare Hyre and I, with Rania Campbell-Cobb are working to create the first rooftop farm in Philadelphia, PA. Our project is called Cloud 9 Rooftop Farm and our focus is on educating the area about the benefits of green roofs and rooftop agriculture in urban areas.
Can you think of a few benefits? Let me list a few ...
Extending the life expectancy of roofing materials on buildings that build green roofs.
Reducing heating and cooling costs for buildings in cities.
Using underutilized space to grow delicious food!
Minimizing storm-water runoff and preventing major environmental degredation.
Cloud 9 was formed in April of 2012. We have spent the past year researching, visiting roof sites, and testing planter designs. We are excited to begin growing in 2013!
Cloud 9 offers hands on education about rooftop agriculture with the Cloud Mobile ( a movable demonstration rooftop garden) and volunteer opportunities on a rooftop site that is coming soon, in addition to producing for sale in local markets. As fuel prices rise and we become increasingly aware of the impacts our food system is having on the world, we will need to source more food from local producers. We wish to serve as an example of how a little bit of creative planting can drastically increase the food production potential of Philadelphia. Our goal is to permanently enhance the quality of life for ourselves and our community through growing vegetables in a sustainable and economically viable way.
Clare Hyre & Cloud 9 Volunteer
Cloud 9 Logo
At Cloud 9, we believe that increasing Philadelphia’s green acres through rooftop agriculture will improve the health of individuals, communities, and the environment without impeding development. Cloud 9 was born out of a dream to not only farm in urban spaces, but to create a healthier, more beautiful Philadelphia.
Cloud 9 was co-founded by Clare Hyre and Rania Campbell-Cobb.
Clare Hyre grew up in Lexington, Virginia and has lived in Philadelphia since November 2010. She attended Guilford College in Greensboro, NC and studied Peace & Conflict Studies and Religious Studies with a minor in Quaker Studies. Clare attends the West Philadelphia Worship Group and is currently a Farm Educator at the Henry Got Crops! CSA. Clare is an active member of West Philadelphia Worship Group and the head volunteer/advocate at Cloud 9.
Rania Campbell-Cobb grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. She also attended Guilford College and studied Environmental Studies and Economics. Rania attends the West Philadelphia Worship Group and is the Farm Educator for Greener Partners, a non-profit focusing on sustainable agriculture and farm education. Rania is currently the Director of Cloud 9 Rooftop Farm.
Clare Hyre and Rania Campbell-Cobb present the Cloud 9 plan
Cloud 9 has been active in the Quaker Community, particularly with the Young Adult Friends Community in Philadelphia, PA and in Greensboro, NC. Quakers (especially YAF's) are encouraged to volunteer with the Cloud 9 crew and have at many occasions. Clare and Rania also have spoken at several YAF conferences, on panels for Quaker YAF's, and tabled at many Quaker-based events. We are so excited to be part of the Clarence and Lilly community and bring a greater understanding about sustainability, education, and rooftop agriculture to our community!