City Growers: NYC Food Based Community Organization Spotlight

by Alexina Cather, MPH

What they do: City Growers teaches kids about where food comes from and why it matters. We use rooftop farms, school and communtiy gardens to reconnect youth to food’s origin from the earth, and to explore the intersections of environmental and human health through agriculture and food systems inquiries.

How they do it: City Growers runs urban agriculture-themed after school programs and summer camps, high school summer internships in urban agriculture education, and offers a full menu of fee-for-service educational programs that include field trips at Brooklyn Grange rooftop farms and school-based workshops.

Mission: City Growers connects urban communities with agriculture, food and environment through farm education and advocacy in order to foster a culture of health and sustainability.

Latest project/campaign: With the rise of urban agriculture comes the rise of urban agriculture education. City Growers’ Education Conference (CGEC) brings together urban farm education programs, gardeners, non-profits, and teachers to celebrate and share knowledge about farming and gardening education in New York City. Through farm education, we aim to create myriad opportunities for youth to meaningfully interact with the natural world and reconnect with food’s origin from the earth. The 2nd annual CGEC will occur on February 11, 2016 at PS 20 in Brooklyn.

Major Funding: Department of Youth and Community Development, program income

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual budget: $412,000

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: City Growers promotes bees’ important role in agriculture through Honeybee Education workshops for youth and content-based professional development for K-12 teachers.


Location: Brooklyn

Core Programs: Rooftop Farm Education Workshops at Brooklyn Grange; B.E.E.S. (Brooklyn Environmental Exploration Scholars) SONYC After School Program, Urban Roots Youth Leaders high school internship and job training program, Beansprouts COMPASS After School Program, Summer in the Soil Camp

Number of staff: 11

Number of volunteers: 20

Areas served: All five boroughs

Date started:Founded in 2011, programs began in April 2012

Executive Director: Cara Chard

Contact, 917-426-4420

Photo credit: ©Valery Rizzo / Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm

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