Coca-Cola & Urban Farming™ Launch Rainwater Harvesting Project During Earth Week

Apr 20, 2011, 08:43 ET from The Coca-Cola Company

Rainwater harvesting pergolas erected at Urban Farming™ community gardens throughout Detroit

DETROIT, April 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, April 20, 2011, Coca-Cola Refreshments in conjunction with Urban Farming™ – a global, non-profit headquartered in Detroit – and with support from Home Depot, will celebrate Earth Week by launching a rainwater harvesting project.  This project uses repurposed Coca-Cola syrup barrels to create a sustainable water supply for vegetation in the Urban Farming™ gardens; thus providing free, fresh produce to the community. The "green partners" will host a groundbreaking event at an Urban Farming™ garden site located at 11015 East Jefferson Avenue at 11:00 a.m.

Urban Farming™ has identified nine garden locations throughout the city of Detroit. Garden structures or "pergolas" constructed within each garden are equipped with a rain barrel, solar panel and pump system. The rain barrel will capture rainwater from the roof of the pergolas, store and filter the water into the pump. The solar pump is connected to a drip irrigation system which when activated will water the plant life in the garden.

"Coca-Cola is committed water stewardship in communities where we operate," said Percy Wells, region vice president, public affairs & communications, Coca-Cola Refreshments.  "Our goal is to safely return to nature and communities an amount of water equivalent to what we use in all of our beverages and their production."  

Home Depot is donating the labor and materials for the project.  They will also construct the pergolas and provide decorative planting benches adjacent to the gardens.

"This Earth Day project highlights the need to learn about the new green technologies that are necessary to preserve our planet and expose our community members to green businesses and green collar job opportunities in the emerging Green Economy," said Taja Sevelle, founder and executive director of Urban Farming™.

Rick Mahorn, former Detroit Pistons player and sports announcer, accompanied by Detroit Pistons mascot "Hooper" and dance team, "Automotion," will join the "green partners" to celebrate Earth Day.  A highlight of the event includes remarks by Dr. Garth Graham, White House Fellow and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health at the Department of Health and Human Services.  In addition, Jimmy Locust, a famed choreographer and dancer will perform.  

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.  The Company's portfolio includes 14 billion dollar brands, including Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, as well as Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at

About Urban Farming™

Urban Farming™ is a global non-profit organization headquartered in Detroit, Michigan.  The organization plants food on unused land and space and gives it to people in need.  Founded in 2004 by Taja Sevelle, the group began planting in 2005 with a pamphlet and three gardens.  To date, Urban Farming™ and its partners have planted and facilitated over 24,000 community and residential gardens across the country and abroad; 1,200 of them in Detroit and surrounding areas.  One of the hallmarks of Urban Farming™ is that the food is free for anyone in need.  Another distinguishing factor is the organization's unique coexistence model, which fosters coexistence between urban agriculture, urban redevelopment, business growth, job creation, global investment and health and wellness.  The goal is to provide the fish and the fishing pole simultaneously, while connecting people to higher paying green businesses and green collar job opportunities. 

Contact: John Graves 313.674.0304 Katelyn Jackson 513.375.7008

SOURCE The Coca-Cola Company