benefits both individuals and neighborhoods,
and thus contributes to overall community health.
What is Urban Agriculture?
According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), “city agriculture takes the form of backyard, roof top and balcony gardening, community gardening in vacant lots and parks, roadside urban fringe agriculture and livestock grazing in open spaces”.
What can it do for our community?
- Helps resolve the issue of combined sewer overflow issues in a city and catching stormwater.
- Productive green spaces improve shade, temperature, decrease in CO2 gas, and less dumping on empty lots.
- Creates more parks and recreation.
- Vacant lot gardens have shown to decrease crime in the neighborhood due to increase “eyes on the street”.
- In 2000, Philadelphia launched the placement of vegetable garden to soak up rainwater. They found a significant reduction in drug possession in these areas.
- Landscaping research in Baltimore found significant decreases in property crimes with “having a well kept lawn, presence of yard trees, hoses, sprinklers, shrubs, and tree cover.”
- Residents and local businesses work together to build the community.
- Urban Agriculture builds new parks and areas of relaxation.
- Greening of a city provides mental and emotional value.
- Research has shown that families that live closer to food that is grown, eat better
- Training and education programs
- Green Jobs
- Improved environments increase value to housing and other development
Through a partnership with Fresh Coast Capital, our aim is to improve the food system while creating attractive and viable communities requiring intentional economic strategies aimed at the promotion of healthy community living through green stormwater infrastructure installations. We address the needs described above by promoting the growth of the small urban farming community, coordinating resources within an improved food system while enhancing economic opportunities in the food and agricultural fields.
Urban Farmer and Food System Certification Teen Internship Program (Teens 15-19) includes classroom education, field experience and a community service project. The Internship application is available for download and accepted until May 15, 2018. This program will begin June 18, 2018 and run for 6 weeks, ending the week of July 28. Each intern will attend training 9-11am Monday through Wednesday and is expected to participate in the urban farmers market for 3 Saturdays during their internship.
*Learn why urban agriculture is good for the environment and the community
*How to grow vegetables and flowers at the Well Farm at Voris Field
*What the economic benefits are of growing healthy foods
*Earn 150.00 student stipend
*Obtain certification in Urban Ag Teen Training and State of Il Food Handler Certification
*Join staff as a 2019 intern educator
Urban Farmer Apprenticeship Program or UFAP (Adults 18 and up). This apprenticeship will begin February 2018 through September 2018. A stipend of 350.00 is provided. Applications are being accepted now and are due by October 20th, 2017. Applications will be screened and applicants contacted in January. This program will begin the first week of February, 2018.
Qualified applicants must be 18 years old or older, possess a high school diploma, GED, or enrolled in a GED program with additional management, sales or customer service experience preferred. Applicants must be able to work outdoors with little to no physical assistance.
The Workforce Training and Apprenticeship Program includes: Urban farm training and worksite program, Safety and Food Handler Certification through health department, basic Job Performance Skills and leadership building, marketing and value added product training, land ownership and share equipment program and nutrition education. We will provide direct hands on education in complete crop production and develop a network of business, nonprofit, and funding partners that support program work and employment of graduates.
The program will instill workforce development skills for underemployed, unemployed and disadvantaged workers residing in the 61605 area, promote employment of workforce trained staff for market and urban farm components of project. Allow for develop and expand current product line, creation of market for direct sales, expand into value-added produce for market sales (i.e., sauces and prepackaged healthy family meals, design of marketing plan for growth into new market venues, such as restaurants, retail and wholesale, assist in private ownership of empty lots for agricultural purposes, improve the sustainability of our organizational education and research mission.
Urban Agriculture Apprentices will become self employed growers that sell produce grown on empty city lots, residential lots or Stormwater Farms. Multiple markets will be available for the purchase of their products such as CSA, Local Urban Farmer’s Market and Wholesale contracts. These markets will be relationships fostered by The gitm Foundation. Future seasoned urban growers will then be trained in managing their own producer co-op for full producer ownership.
You may download the application here:
Urban Ag Apprenticeship Application. Apprenticeship application period is closed.
Questions regarding the application or program should be directed to
Mr. Dwayne Harris, Urban Agriculture Educator
email@example.com or (779) 777-0883
Applications should be mailed to
The gitm Foundation
4200 E. Washington Street, Suite B
East Peoria, IL 61611
Meet our summer, 2017 student interns!
The Teen Internship
was made possible by a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the City of Peoria.