First Homes Properties was launched in 1999 as an initiative of the Rochester Area Foundation with the goal of assisting individuals and families in the purchase of homes. From the beginning, First Homes has been organized to provide and develop fast, flexible, responsive leadership to create a permanent, adequate supply of workforce housing in healthy, sustainable neighborhoods through collaborative efforts in the greater Rochester area. http://www.firsthomes.org/
CROPS is a dynamic network of community gardens and its leadership group developed by residents of Rochester and the Rochester Area Foundation in the Fall of 2009. We are a passionate group of gardeners who strive to provide residents with the opportunity to grow their own vegetables, right in their own neighborhood.
The CROPS community gardens are located on private as well as city owned remnant parcels of land, which the Rochester Park and Recreation Department has allowed for gardening. In all cases, vacant and underutilized areas are transformed into vibrant focal points of the neighborhood as the network of CROPS gardens expands.
If interested in a community garden near you, here are the current garden plot availability maps and 2013 applications. Please send them along with an enclosed check to the address listed on the application:
First Steps is a collaborative public-private economic development program being spearheaded by the Rochester Area Foundation to assure that our children are ready for school when they enter kindergarten. We are jeopardizing our economic future when children enter the kindergarten classroom not ready to succeed in school. Please call us for information about the program 507-282-0203.
First Steps report to the Community December 13, 2012
The First Steps initiative of the Rochester Area Foundation concluded it's 3 year Early Childhood Education study with a report to the community held at the Ramada Inn. Richard Chase, researcher from Amherst H Wilder Foundation was the keynote speaker and gave a summary report on the data accumulated over the 3 year period. A link to the report is here. Other speakers related the value of community involvement in early childhood education.
To see more photos of the event click here.