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Growing Good Minnesota


An outreach program of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Urban Summer Garden 

Growing Good MN is a teenage work expeience program for urban teens. Growing Good uses the garden as a tool to create teenage skills development and opportunities in the following areas:

  • First time job skills
  • Horticulture skills
  • Entrepreneurial skills 
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • College and career exploration 

How it Works:
Urban Summer Garden 
Small work teams of youth with an adult facilitator are presented with a garden based work challenge for their summer employment. Each summer provides a new challenge for the youth workers to build on previous experience and challenge new growth and opportunity. Growing Good Minnesota offers two distinct types of work opportunities: CityFresh Entrepreneurs and Community Youth Leaders.

City Fresh Entrepreneurs grow business skills through garden based work challenges:
  • CityFresh Veggies-grow specialty produce and sell to restaurant chefs.
  • CityFresh New Products- take a garden product idea and bring it to market.
Community Youth Leaders are growing plant knowledge and awareness in the community:
  • Growing Good Pop-up Gardeners: Bring innovative urban garden models and and plant based learning to a variety of non-profit, small business, and institutions serving the inner city.
  • Growing Good Communications: Create and disseminate communication tools and methods to share personal and program impacts.
  • Growing to Lead: Grow leadership skills with practice in the program and the community.

 Who is Involved:

Between 40 and 50 youth are employed every summer. Supporting their work are a team of adult facilitators and many community partners. Youth are invited to apply through community partner organizations. Growing Good Minnesota relies on a variety of partnerships to support the youth work experience. These partnerships include:

  • Youth Employment Partners: Urban youth serving organizations that recruit, hire, and handle HR for youth workers, and provide garden and meeting space.
  • University of Minnesota: Many departments and programs at the University of Minnesota support and enhance the work experience programs.
  • Community Partners: The non-profits, small businesses, restaurant chefs, and institution professionals who take time to meet and work with Growing Good Teenagers-helping build skills, insights, and relationships for their future.
  • Other urban youth employment and youth garden programs in the Twin Cities:
  • Program Funders: The individuals and foundations that share in the mission and financially support the work. 
  • Contact Arboretum Education for more information on how you or your organization can get involved. arbedu@umn.edu 612-301-1210.

 See the Program in Action:



2017 Summer Job Openings in Urban Garden Program:

Children's Garden in Residence Instructor

City Fresh New Products Team Faciliatator and Special Projects

Youth Team Facilitator Growing Good Urban Garden Youth Employment

Urban Gardener MN Landscape Arboretum Urban Garden Program

Please contact the Arboretum's Education department for further information 612-301-1210