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 2020!


THE FOOD SYSTEM WITH A TOUR OF DETROIT URBAN AGRICULTURE What role do community gardens play in our food system? Why do you want to start a community garden? Are you familiar with what’salready happening in the city? Open your eyes to the wide world of community gardens and the roles that they play in our community. This class will include a short tour out to visit some Urban Roots graduates.

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. At this class,we’ll introduce Urban Roots garden portfolios and students will be paired with other students to support oneanother’s garden development plans.

GROWING VEGETABLES AND GARDEN INFRASTRUCTURE In this hands-on class, we’ll visit anUrban Roots graduate’s garden to 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.

SITE ASSESSMENT AND DESIGN 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 basic design skills needed to develop a site plan and ensure that your garden becomes an asset in your community.

GARDEN RESOURCE MOBILIZATION Assess the needs of your garden and explore the options for meeting these needs. This class will explore the world of funding opportunities for community-based projects. We’lllearn to create a budget and the basics of searching for funding and putting together proposals to reach your goals.In the afternoon, we’ll hone skills of volunteer management while getting practice with practical construction and maintenance skills.

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 student 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, the new fall format of Urban Roots will allow more time for technical assistance and support for students over the winter 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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