The name of the organization, “Growing High Point,” makes it sound like the group is another one of the seemingly hundreds of economic development promotion groups in central North Carolina.

However, Growing High Point has a much more environmentally friendly purpose.  The non-profit community organization promotes the planting of urban gardens in vacant lots in challenged neighborhoods in order battle food insecurity in the city and breathe new vibrancy in areas of High Point that need a lift.

On Thursday, May 25  the group held a ribbon cutting for its Berry Ridge project – the group’s latest urban farm, this one at 1411 E. Green Dr. in High Point.  If you can’t guess from the name, Berry Ridge will grow all sorts of berries, as well as other produce.

For this latest urban garden, Growing High Point is partnering with 2023  class of  Leadership High Point.

This abandoned vacant space being invigorated with new life is the 12th project of the sort.

The group sees the planting, growing and harvesting of food in challenged areas of town as doing a whole lot more good than just increasing the availability of wholesome fresh food in the area.

An initiative of the Business High Point’s Hayden-Harman Foundation, Growing High Point was founded in 2016 with the following goal: “to transform disadvantaged neighborhoods by converting vacant lots to urban agriculture, increasing economic mobility by fostering small business development, increasing fresh food availability in neighborhoods, and engaging residents in building a shared sense of purpose and possibility in their neighborhoods.”

Those behind the projects say that green spaces like Berry Ridge and other Growing High Point urban farms have another benefits: They improve the overall mental and physical health of those nearby and those who eat the food.

While the group attempts to increase community access to fresh, locally- grown-foods, it’s also attempting to deepen collaboration among the players in local food ecosystem in an effort to strengthen the food network and make quality foods more accessible no matter where someone lives in the city.