Westside Housing was honored to have a team from Bike and Build join volunteers from the Nottingham Urban Farm, BNIM Architects, and Westside Housing staff on Sunday June 21st and Monday June 22nd, 2015, to help build a multi-use outdoor structure at the Nottingham Urban Farm, located at 20th and Washington St. in Kansas City, Mo.
This volunteer event kicked-off Sunday morning. The 30 person team was joined by several neighborhood residents. Despite the triple-digit heat index, everyone worked together to build the BNIM designed storage shed, paint fences, move mulch around, and build a hugelkultur. They took Sunday afternoon off to call their dads and wish them a happy Father's Day. They then enjoyed some rest and relaxation around the Crossroads Arts District. The team returned to the site on Monday morning to continue working. They were treated to a farewell dinner that evening, courtesy of Board Member Adam Jones.
Bike and Build is group of young adults between the ages of 18 and 28, who gave up their summer to ride from coast to coast in support of affordable housing. They began their trip in Virginia Beach, VA on May 23rd, and will pedal an average of 66 miles a day until they reach their destination at Cannon Beach, OR. Along the way they will stop at 10 different affordable housing organizations, with Westside Housing being the 4th organization they help as they pedal their way west.
Ms. Casey Moran, a Bike and Build team leader says,
“As we travel across the county, we hope to deepen our understanding of how affordable housing can strengthen communities. We are especially excited to be traveling to Kansas City to work with Westside Housing Organization. We are looking forward to helping them further their mission of building healthy, affordable neighborhoods. This experience will broaden our team’s perspective on the many aspects of healthy affordable housing, and demonstrate how we can tackle this issue individually and as a society.”
Bike and Build helped start construction on the multi-use, sleek looking storage structure, designed by volunteer architects and designers from BNIM, a world renowned leader in sustainable design. This structure will allow not only tool storage, but also a comfortable indoor area to allow volunteer gardeners to get out of the weather, pack CSA boxes, and potentially educate neighborhood residents on how to prepare a variety of vegetables, from asparagus to zucchini.
Many of the team members were enthusiastic about their visit to Kansas City. Several members commented on the charming homes and beautiful views of the Westside, Crossroads, and Downtown. They said they enjoyed their time working with Westside Housing as it offered an opportunity "to really get their hands dirty, and do something meaningful for this community".
We can't wait for them to roll back though next year!