Herb Virgo, Keney Park Sustainability Project Founder & Executive Director

Herb Virgo

Founder and Executive Director of the Keney Park Sustainability Project, a nonprofit organization committed to providing hands-on training, on-site demonstrations, outreach, and community collaborations that help families become more self-sustainable and environmentally conscious while preserving the historic Keney Park.

Leadership Greater Hartford, a nonprofit that supports & strengthens the community by training and connecting aspiring and established leaders, is hosting their annual Polaris Awards on Thursday, October 28th – this year virtually - honoring four Polaris award winners who exemplify excellence in community leadership. Herb Virgo, Founder & Executive Director of the Keney Park Sustainability Project, who helps families to become more self-sustainable and environmentally conscious while preserving historic Keney Park, Brother Carl Hardrick, a lifelong youth development leader, gang intervention specialist, and community activist, the Women of Color in Business series, developed by University of Hartford’s Women’s Business Center to support and champion women entrepreneurs of color, and Jason Jakubowski, the visionary leader of Connecticut Foodshare, an organization that has worked tireless to increase food security for families across Connecticut in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Join our virtual Polaris Awards celebration on Thursday, October 28th. For tickets, visit leadershipgh.org.

Nomination: Environmentally speaking, Herb has moved mountains in North Hartford’sKeneyPark since 2016. Herb increased 1 raised bed to over an acre of growing space, built 4 greenhouses, created aquaponicssystemsand donated over 350 home garden kits while teaching families to grow their own food. TheKeneyPark Urban Agriculture Education Site teaches maple-sugaring, animal husbandry, forest management andbee-keepingfor the community. He envisions creating the next generation of healthy,productiveand environmentally conscious citizens while connecting people to nature’s healing power in Hartford. Herb repurposed a school bus into a mobile kitchen to provide nutrition education and spark interest in healthy eating. Next is the Urban Ecology Wellness Center atKeneyPark. It will deliver environmental education, integrative health, and wellness services to North Hartford. Herb’s dedication to community is evidenced by restoring the historical significance, ecological value, and recreational use ofKeneyPark.

Herb’s initiatives positively impact those inside and aroundKeneyPark. His philosophy drives his vision to empower people to grow their own food. He believes the power to feed yourself and your family changes lives……which changes everything.

As a result of Herb’s initiatives, the neighborhood is more engaged in itsPark. Herb clears 7 miles of park trails which restores passageways, improves wildlife habitat, tree regeneration, thereby producing sellable wood and providing youth workers with training and real skills. Herb’s goal is to develop community stewardship. He has attracted many volunteers from all walks of life; this year he is training Individuals with Developmental Disabilities from LGH’s Third Age Initiative’s team. With his passion and dedication, Herb is a tireless Renaissance Man “who grows life intoKeneyPark”. He envisions a positive future by collaborating to develop and implement sustainability. This fine man finds a way to get to 'yes'

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