American Public Gardens Association Conference 2018

Southern California

June 4-8, 2018

Roots Rising: An Agriculture-Based Youth Development Program for At-Risk Youth
Event Type: 
Education and Communication
Date / Time: 
Thu June, 07 - 9:45am to 10:15am
Magic Kingdom Ballroom 1
J. Samowitz, Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, Massachusetts

“The city and the farm belong to each other.” This is the founding belief of Roots Rising, an agriculture-based youth development program that is a collaboration between Berkshire Botanical Garden and Alchemy Initiative. At Roots Rising, youth from all walks of life come together as a Farm Crew, working side by side towards a common goal. We have seen that meaningful work is transformational: It leaves youth feeling purposeful, capable, and connected. This presentation will give an overview of Roots Rising, the lessons learned from the launch of this successful program, and how these learnings can be applied to other public gardens interested in innovative youth development programming.