Urban Roots


Creating a successful community garden takes more than just a “green thumb.” It also takes time, dedication, leadership, and organization. Often these elements are overlooked, and as a result, initial enthusiasm is lost and community gardens are short-lived. This six-week comprehensive course provides participants with the skills and knowledge to successfully establish and/or maintain a thriving community garden. With a hands-on and interactive format, students will learn from and be connected to the network of past graduates of the course who are successfully leading gardens in the city. Throughout the course, you will receive support from our staff and fellow growers to build your own garden portfolio, equipping you with realistic plans, relevant tools and support to launch into a successful growing season in 2022!


In 2021, Urban Roots classes will be online via Zoom on Tuesday evenings from 6-8:30PM between September 28th and November 2nd. In addition to attending and actively participating in classes, students will development a garden portfolio (required) and participate in two in-person garden days (highly recommended but participation is optional for anyone with health/safety concerns).


THE FOOD SYSTEM WITH A SHORT HISTORY OF URBAN AGRICULTURE IN DETROIT What role do community gardens play in our food system? Why do you want to start a community garden? Are you familiar with what’s already happening in the city? Open your eyes to the wide world of community gardens and the roles that they play in our community.

SITE ASSESSMENT AND URBAN AGRICULTURE POLICY We’ll dig in to considerations for how to choose a garden site and how to navigate land acquisition processes and urban agriculture policies in the city. We’ll also get hands-on practice with site assessment and creating a plot plan to support your garden development plans.

CREATING A VISION FOR A COMMUNITY GARDEN AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT What do you envision your garden will achieve? Do your neighbors and community share that vision? Learn techniques to get people involved, ensure community support, and build effective leadership in your community garden.

GROWING VEGETABLES AND GARDEN INFRASTRUCTURE In this hands-on class, we’ll learn the basics of growing and tending vegetables as well as practical tips for successful maintenance. We’ll also explore what elements your garden might contain, such as raised beds, pathways, water catchment systems, signs and benches.

GARDEN RESOURCE MOBILIZATION Assess the needs of your garden and explore the options for making it happen! This class will explore the world of funding opportunities for community-based projects. We’ll learn to create a budget and the basics of searching for funding and putting together proposals to reach your goals.

PORTFOLIO PRESENTATIONS AND CELEBRATION Throughout the course, students will work to create a garden portfolio. The portfolio is a culmination of Urban Roots coursework helping students organize their own garden goals and plans and ensuring support for community gardening efforts, including funding and community buy-in. At the final class, students will share their garden portfolio and how they plan to apply their Urban Roots experience and celebrate their accomplishments with their families and friends at a graduation ceremony.

POST-GRADUATION: TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND GARDEN DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES Although class technically ends with graduation, KGD’s staff is committed to supporting Urban Roots Students though the winter and following spring to ensure you are ready for the upcoming growing season! Over the winter, you can expect support from KGD with your community organizing, garden design and development plans.

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