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Roots & Wings Youth Leaders harvest fresh vegetables from their gardens to sell at farmers' markets and donate to their community

Congratulations to the Roots & Wings Youth Leaders on their recent grant from the In Youth We Trust grant program of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois.

 
The Roots & Wings Youth Leaders, part of the Learning Center's Urban Initiative in Rockford, are a group of teens who work together to plan, plant, tend, harvest, cook, and sell vegetables from urban gardens in Rockford. Youth Leaders are role models for younger gardeners in our Urban Initiative, and often speak at public events in Rockford.

 
In Youth We Trust is a youth philanthropy program of...

The on-farm Learning Center in winter

By Katie Townsend, AOLC Urban Farm Educator

 

My Dear Students,

 

It is New Year’s Eve. Before I revel the night away my habit is to revisit the year. Sometimes I retrace my footsteps. I like to stand one last time in the places I have labored and dreamed. So I find myself at the sleeping garden we have tended together. Tiny snowflakes melt into blackened soil. We have done our part and nature is about to do her rejuvenating work. Snow, compost and hope all go together. You will see come April.

 

Dan Janssen, a University Extension...

Angelic Organics Learning Center: Urban Initiative (Roots & Wings) 3rd annual Be Healthy Walk is this Saturday (May 28th). All are welcomed to join together with us to do something healthy and fun and at the same time help the Roots & Wings Youth Leaders celebrate the beginning of their Spring academic period.

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and the Learning Center's Martha Boyd help Little Village community residents work in an urban garden

Edible Chicago recently featured the Learning Center's partner, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) in the article "Plants Sprout, Justice Served in Chicago's Little Village,"  by Terra Brockman. Located in South Lawndale (Little Village), LVEJO has developed three garden sites with assistance from the Learning Center. Providing technical assistance, project and budget planning, and funding for equipment and other garden supplies, the Learning Center has worked with LVEJO to help community residents grow, get, and eat good and healthy fresh food. Learning Center staff have been able to offer workshops to project leaders and...

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It’s emerging! A youth-led urban agriculture hub in Southwest Rockford, IL. A hoop house, built by over 30 Rockford youth, is up and is being prepped for its first season of production.

The 2011 plans for cultivation and growth of over 6 urban agriculture sites are being developed by 3 contributing organizations. These plans even include youth owned micro-enterprises; Rockford truly has amazing youth with great ideas!

AOLC Chicago Urban Initiative Program Director Martha Boyd weighs in on proposed Chicago zoning changes that would affect urban agriculture in a recent Chicago Tribune article, The city that grows: Officials, local farmers divided on new urban agricultre rules.

 

You can read also the proposed ordinance on the city's website. Stay tuned to our blog for further updates on the outcome of this debate.

 

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Where were you on November 19th, 2010? If you were not at the 2nd Annual Harvest celebration hosted by the Roots & Wings Youth Leaders, you missed a dinner that included turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, fresh salad, squash, lemon pie, sweet potato pie, and cheese cake.

Many of the food items were prepared by the Youth Leaders themselves and some of the food came out of some of our Rockford gardens. Most people enjoyed seconds and thirds.

The Southwest Rockford Community Gardens, a Urban Initiative: Roots & Wings (Rockford) sponsored project, celebrated it's first Harvest celebration on October 29, 2010. The Rockford Register Star newspaper and WREX/Channel 13 news were both on hand to witness the youth reflect honestly and thoughtfully on their urban initiative experience.

Youth Leaders working on invites

 

The Youth Leaders of Roots & Wings would like to remind all that will be attending our annual Harvest Celebration on this Friday, November 19, 2010 from 5:30-8pm.

The Youth Leaders look forward to hosting you all and have planned many fun and informative events. We would also like to remind all to bring a dish for our potluck! The Youth Leaders themselves are preparing pies, cheesy potatoes, and other goodies.

The celebration will be held at Court Street United Methodist Church, 215 North Court Street in Rockford.         

Please see the attached ...

On October 29, Learning Center partner South West Rockford Community Garden Partnership held a Fall Harvest Celebration, to commemmorate a successful first year and the development of five new community gardens providing fresh food and community for Rockford residents.

 

The event was featured in the Rockford Register Star, and WREX Channel 13 News. The gardens are the result of a new program called Eco-Advocates, developed by Comprehensive Community Solutions and the Learning Center to provide GED and job readiness training for youth ages 18-25. Angelic Organics...

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