On Saturday June 18, the Denver community came together to celebrate food, connection, and well-being at Dahlia Campus Farm Festival. Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being has a wide array of outdoor spaces including community gardens, aquaponics, community gardens, farm stand, and a 40,000 square foot urban farm. The campus located in Northeast Park Hill Denver, was thrilled to introduce their new green spaces at this outdoor festival full of farm tours, food trucks, face painting, and other festivities.
The festival offered an opportunity to learn more about the Dahlia Campus Farms and Gardens partners, including Colorado Aquaponics, Children’s Farm of America, and Sprout City Farms, that help provide healthy food and foster personal and communal well-being. Partnerships like the one with Colorado Aquaponics demonstrate the level of innovation happening on the campus. The farm festival featured the aquaponic greenhouse, which will grow healthy food while saving water, limiting pesticides, and increasing productivity.
The new green spaces and partnerships emphasize the importance of nutritious food in promoting personal well-being thorough a healthy body. As Carl Clark MD, the president and CEO of the Mental Health Center of Denver noted in his presentation, “Health is so much more than the absence of illness; health is something bigger, and a part of health is having access to nutritious food.” The well attended farm festival, highlighted the strength of the Denver community, the positive impact of the focus on well-being and health, and Dahlia Campus’ commitment to providing a welcoming and relevant space for community mental health.
Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being is located in what some call a ‘food desert’ because access to fresh produce and healthy protein is limited in the surrounding area. During the planning phases of Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being, one conversation that continued to arise in community meetings was the need for healthy food.
Lydia Prado, Ph.D, the VP of Child and Family Services at the Mental Health Center of Denver, spoke at the festival, “It’s all about life and it’s all about enhancing life…and we will continue to have the conversations to make sure this campus remains meaningful to the people in this neighborhood.” Prado has been working closely with the community for many years to ensure that all facets of Dahlia Campus are intentional, and serve the community. The opening of the outdoor community spaces was a celebration of that commitment.