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NIU COMS students team with community gardens on video

December 24, 2014

DeKalb County Community Gardens logoDeKalb County Community Gardens teamed up with students of Northern Illinois University Dept. of Communications Professor Laura Vazquez to make a 90-second video for a grant competition.

Mattie Pace, a December graduate of the NIU communications program–along with communications senior Michelle Herr–directed and produced the video for the national Food Rebels Video Contest sponsored by Applegate Natural and Organic Meats Company. The video receiving the most online votes in the contest will be granted a $3,000 grant and will be considered for a feature on the PBS television show “Food Forward,” a series about people transforming food in America.

“This is a great opportunity for Northern Illinois University to work with a local nonprofit and bring some positive attention to DeKalb County,” said Dan Kenney, executive director of DeKalb County Community Gardens.

The film also features Lisa Cummings of Live Healthy DeKalb and KishHealth System.

DCCG would like members of the community to help them win the grant by following the link and watching the short film, then casting a vote and sharing the link with others. The contest ends Jan. 9.

The project shows many of the projects DCCG is working on throughout the county. DeKalb County Community Gardens has expanded to more than 40 locations in just three growing seasons. The local nonprofit coordinates volunteers in the growing of fresh vegetables for people in need. Over the course of the 2014 growing season, DCCG has grown more than 21,000 pounds of fresh produce for county food pantries and community meal sites. DCCG also provides educational workshops and works with more than 70 partners and sponsors. Through its Garden Paths of Hope Program, DCCG is also creating a regional vocational farm for people with special needs. The Walnut Grove Vocational Farm is also described in the video.

The money from the grant will help DeKalb County Community Gardens buy seeds, plants and supplies for the 2015 growing season.

For more information visit the DeKalb County Community Gardens website,