Since 2012, Innovation Youth has developed an expertise in urban agriculture, and in helping inner-city youth and their families access green spaces in the heart of the city.
Innovation Youth runs this program in two components:
Eco-Youth: After-school gardening, in the Concordia Greenhouse
Fresh lettuce in the winter? Why not! Every week, our teams of high school gardeners come to the Concordia Greenhouse and work at their indoor winter garden. This is a great opportunity for city kids to access green spaces all year round. We grow radishes, lettuce, spinach, micro-greens, flowers, herbs and even potatoes (they’re pretty small!) The kids are empowered to grow their community involvement by cooking with the produce and donating meals to two local day centres for the homeless: St James Day centre and The Open Door Today.
It’s urban, it’s green, it’s great!
Summer internships: employability training at outdoor gardens in the Peter-McGill neighbourhood.
Innovation Youth runs outdoor gardens downtown through which we hire kids who cannot find summer jobs due to various reasons. Not only do our young gardeners learn how to grow food in the city (and do they ever grow a lot of it!) but they also acquire precious employability skills such as team work, leadership training, conflict resolution, and a variety of practical task-related skills such as working with specific tools, cooking, garden planning, and work-place safety. Much of the harvest is distributed amongst families or donated to The Open Door Today and the Saint-James Day centre.
“Greening Pierce” Project
Inspired by the “Incredible Edible” movement, this urban garden holds vegetables, leafy greens and herbs, accessible to the local community of Peter-McGill. Neighbours are invited to help maintain and care for the planters, and harvest what they like. Talk about a local food initiative! The Greening Pierce project also help cool down our little hot spot on Pierce street, and grow our youth and families’ access to green spaces.