June’s Positive Change recipient is Urban Roots, a local organization whose mission is to cultivate and empower youth through nature, healthy food, and community. By using food and environmental stewardship as tools for social change, Urban Roots empowers youth through hands-on entrepreneurship, career exploration, and community engagement opportunities. Each year they engage thousands of local youth and families in education, training, and work projects though their Market Garden, Cook Fresh Crew, and Conservation internship programs. These paid internships develop young leaders while improving the health of people and the environment.
June Positive Change proceeds will support Urban Roots’ three internship programs for youth ages 14-18 from St. Paul’s East Side.
Market Garden Program
Youth plant, maintain, and harvest small-scale urban agriculture sites and are involved in produce sales and marketing. Last year, youth harvested over 10,500 pounds of food using organic growing methods. New this year, Market Garden produce will be sold at Mississippi Market’s East 7th store!
Cook Fresh Crew
Interns are trained as park ambassadors to create greater connections between youth and the outdoors, enabling a greater sense of place and pride in the community. Participants focus on invasive species removal, native seed collection, and installation of pollinator and rain gardens.
Youth learn about the food that Market Garden interns grow and how to prepare fresh homemade meals using it. They also develop healthful recipes and create value-added products for sale, such as chutneys, salsas, and sauces.