Just over ten years ago, we had this idea for how young people could become leaders by growing food on an urban farm in Austin. The first thing we did was reach out to hundreds of students and community members: sharing the vision, getting feedback, and most importantly listening.
Frequently, after hearing about this urban farm idea, there would be someone in the room who would hang back until the very end to share with me what it was like to visit their uncle’s garden or grandmother’s farm in the summer growing up. You could feel the power in these stories through their voices and the glean in their eyes. These memories were deeply embedded and came alive when we talked about the possibility of Urban Roots. They inspired me to see how we can bring more of these stories of food, community, and connection to life.
Now, as we celebrate ten years of Urban Roots, over 350 young people and thousands of community members have their own memories of inspiration, hope, & joy as we have worked together to grow food for Austin. We’re grateful for each of you who have grown your own stories alongside the vegetables and Urban Roots. More than ever we believe more young people should have the opportunity to do the same.
We are truly humbled by the opportunity to do this work and to continue the Urban Roots story. Together we can empower youth and nourish community for many years to come!
Max Elliott, LMSW
Co-Founder & Executive Director