Thursday, March 24, 2011

Urban Swag: Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone Gets Youth Engaged

If you are an urban gardening enthusiast, youth worker, comic book lover, entrepreneur or all of the above, this story on the new Cleveland Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone, will have you swooning! It highlights one of the many urban greening and economic development initiatives happening in Cleveland, Ohio. Take two African American pest control business owners, a non-profit community development center, an African American think tank, the Ohio State University Extension Center, the USDA, other governmental entities - mix with a family history of gardening, passion, creativity and swag and bam! - you have the Cleveland version of Growing Power (that's a whole nuther story). In fact the master of urban gardening himself, Will Allen is one of the advisors to the project. So what is it? A 26 acre area of land in a very urban Cleveland neighborhood has been designated as ground zero for an intiative to train and development home grow ag entrepreneurs, with an emphasis being placed on recruiting young people in the community to lead leafy green businesses. The plan is to recruit teens and young adults in the city park across from the current greenhouse/headquarters to engage via a program called "Shoot Hoops, Not Guns". There is also a comic book called, "Brink City: Green In The Ghetto". You have to read the article to learn more.....

So stay green and stay strong, good things are poppin' in the neighborhood this spring!

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