Solutions Summit | September 2022

Michael D. Pulliam


As of July 2022, Eureka nonprofit Cooperation Humboldt has planted 500 mini vegetable gardens at family homes throughout Humboldt County, with no cost to recipients.

Cooperation Humboldt, a Humboldt County nonprofit dedicated to building a local solidarity economy, launched their mini garden initiative in 2019. The garden program provides free small vegetable gardens to families with young children, with staff and volunteers preparing a space in the family’s yard and doing the initial planting. Coop Humboldt also provides ongoing education and support to help families continue growing their own food.

By the close of the 2022 spring planting season, Cooperation Humboldt staff and volunteers had planted 100 new gardens in areas between Garberville, McKinleyville, and Hoopa. These 100 new installations brought the program’s three-year total to 500 mini gardens.

Recipient families had a lot of positive feedback. “We love our mini garden,” said Angie Valetutto. “My daughter has enjoyed watching the fruits and veggies grow. It’s been inspiring to watch her trying the different foods that we are growing. Our whole family is loving the freedom of picking foods out of our garden to use with our meals.”

“It’s amazing to witness the kids’ investment in the gardens when they help to plant them,” said garden installer Argie Munoz. “They are eager to water and excited for upkeep and harvesting! This small gesture really can spark the beginning of a person’s connection with and stewardship of the world around us.”

Another installer, Tony Scardina, agrees: “The highlight for me was seeing the excitement on the children’s faces. I’m happy to be planting the seeds for a new generation of gardeners!”

Cooperation Humboldt conducted a poll of this year’s recipients, revealing some encouraging impacts. 89% of respondents said the family spends more quality time together as a result of the mini garden; 76% said having a mini garden gives an overall decrease in stress; 93% said the children have learned new things and gained new skills; 100% said they are more likely to garden in the future compared with before receiving their mini garden.

This year’s installations were made possible through a contract with Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services using funding from their Adverse Childhood Experiences Prevention fund as well as through a grant from Coast Central Credit Union. Support was also provided by Open Door’s Health and Wellness gardens, Arcata Sunrise Rotary, Garberville Rotary, Pierson’s Building Center, The Mill Yard, Sylvandale Gardens, and Deep Seeded Farm.

Cooperation Humboldt’s food team also provides Little Free Pantries to facilitate neighborhood sharing, publishes an annual Community Food Guide, plants free fruit trees for the community, and offers a variety of educational opportunities relating to food production and local food sovereignty. Learn more by visiting Source: Co-op Humboldt


Thanks in part to improved surveying and monitoring efforts, the estimated number of wild tigers in the world has increased by 40% compared to 2015.

A recent population assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) concluded there are between 3,700-5,500 wild tigers in the world, an increase of roughly 40% from the previous tiger assessment in 2015. Luke Hunter, executive director of the big cat program at Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), attributes higher numbers of tigers partly to conservation efforts by governments and organizations in tiger territory. But also, “We’re better at counting them,” Hunter said. “Many governments in particular have really sort of moved heaven and earth to do massive-scale surveys.”

Dale Miquelle, WCS Tiger Program Coodinator, shared this in a statement: “Although we still have a very long way to go, the new assessment shows that the tiger can be saved. There are more wild tigers alive today than in 2010, the result of range-state governments and partners committing to very focused protection of the species and its habitats. The threats have not gone away and will not for a long time. But there is every reason to believe the world can have even more tigers a decade from now if we double down on that commitment.”

Even with the higher count results, the IUCN still considers wild tigers Endangered. Illegal tiger poaching, hunting tiger prey, and destroying or fragmenting tiger habitats are still major issues for these big cats around the world. But global tiger populations are trending toward stable or increasing.

“When you succeed in saving tigers or conserving tigers, you are conserving very large wilderness landscapes, with a huge host of biodiversity but also a whole bunch of benefits to the human communities that live in and around those landscapes,” Hunter said. He believes these types of assessments show that conservation interventions can work. Source: NPR.