Urban Roots Farm is seeking funding to partner with Missouri State to create a position to develop and implement summer and after school programming on the farm for the youth in the West Central neighborhood in Springfield, Missouri.
Urban Roots Farm is a Certified Naturally Grown four season urban farm located in the West Central neighborhood of Springfield, Missouri. West Central is a unique neighborhood located just west of downtown Springfield. It includes historic homes, six public parks, and easy access to the amenities of downtown. Unfortunately, it also includes a high poverty rate and a large population of at risk youth. Urban Roots Farm is located just 2 blocks away from McGregor Elementary School where 85% of the students receive free and reduced lunch. Many of these students are the same young people that find their way to the farm on their walk home from school or over the summer.
Over the past few years, many young people from the neighborhood have found refuge at the farm and we have loved having them there. They love learning about how we grow food, helping us out with various farm related chores, and getting to take some fresh veggies home to their families. We want to offer more to these children by creating a youth program to invite children to explore urban agriculture in their neighborhood while also receiving mentoring and tutoring throughout the summer and after school. A program like this will allow us to welcome these children more intentionally to the farm by providing an on site staff member dedicated to the needs of these kids.
This campaign would allow us to partner with Missouri State University to hire a Graduate Assistant to create a youth program. This program would have the following goals:
1. Provide a safe space for at risk young people to spend their summer and after school times.
2. Teach participants in the program about urban agriculture and sustainability.
3. Connect each young person with mentoring and tutoring.
4. Secure longer term funding for this program and position.
We already have several volunteers who are ready to join us in this project! We are so excited about the impact that a dedicated position to youth programming at the farm will have on our neighborhood, our families, and the lives of the young people surrounding the farm. We want to live in a vibrant community, and we are committed to healthy, sustainable practices. We are always mindful of the impact our actions have on our community, and we are so eager to begin impacting the young people of West Central in a big way. Thank you for helping us reach this goal!