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One of City Green’s most important functions is to provide nature-based learning opportunities for school students from pre-k through 12th grade. City Green partners with local schools to build customized educational programming that brings nature to the classroom and brings the classroom back to nature.

 

Existing partnerships have involved building new school gardens, providing training for teachers who want to educate their students using hands-on outdoor education strategies, arranging field trips to the City Green Farm Eco-Center, and creating outdoor classrooms where students can get their hands dirty.

School Gardens to inquire about our School Grounds School Garden Program, please reach out to Miranda 

The City Green Field Trip program provides comprehensive outdoor, nature-based education for students from northern NJ. Field trips take place at our Farm Eco-Center in Clifton or Learning Garden in Paterson, and ensure interaction with the natural world, an understanding of where food comes from, and access to hands-on lessons tied to NGSS standards. 

As students rotate through activity stations, they will get to taste seasonal produce, observe farm animals and native wildlife such as insects, animals, and plants, practice sustainable gardening, and have a lot of fun outdoors! 

Kids can come to the City Green Farm to learn about where food comes from while developing an appreciation for the power and beauty of nature. For parents, a variety of after-school and summer camp programming gives kids a safe and stimulating place to spend time outdoors. Whether they’re soaking up a lesson with one of our experienced staff members, or experiencing the magic of communing with nature, children’s lives will be deeply enriched by the City Green experience. Participants gain important skills that will last a lifetime, such as making healthy food choices and caring for their own local ecosystem, whether it’s city block or a suburban park. When a child experiences City Green’s programming, they grow up to be a responsible caretaker of the natural world, and that is the greatest gift of all.

For children, understanding the natural world that we all share comes… naturally. But kids still need access to the outdoors and the right tools to learn. City Green believes that all children deserve access to open spaces and healthy food, and to help make this goal a reality, City Green offers a multitude of experiential learning opportunities for children ranging from preschool to 18 years old. These experiences take place outside of the school system at City Green’s own sites, as well as those of partner organizations in Paterson, Passaic, and Clifton.

Weekend Family Programs

Farm Camp

Storytime in the Garden

Self-Guided Adventure

AFTERSCHOOL
City sprouts 

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Our City Sprouts projects provide safe, beautiful vegetable and flower gardens in urban communities, enhanced by an outdoor education program that ensures interaction with the natural world, access to hands-on experiential learning, and an understanding of where food comes from. Through participation in City Sprouts, urban children develop an appreciation for the power of beauty and nature in city neighborhoods; the taste and health benefits of freshly picked veggies; and the possibilities created by taking an active part in enhancing your community.  

 

City Green partners with a variety of community organizations, such as Boys and Girls Clubs, libraries and even schools, to grow gardens and run on-site nature-based educational programming after school throughout the seasons.  City Green educators visit our partner City Sprouts gardens weekly April through November to teach gardening skills, inspire environmental stewardship, and expose kids to a variety of fresh local fruits and vegetables. Click here to find a City Sprouts site near you!

 

If you are an organization looking to host a City Sprouts garden program contact City Sprouts Manager Liz Kleisner: lkleisner@city-green.org   or call (973) 869-4086.

Dig in! Community gardens 

City Green's Dig In! supports the creation of vibrant community gardens and neighborhood farms in urban, suburban, and rural areas of Passaic County for the production of healthy food, neighborhood beautification, and community enhancement. Through participation in Dig In! community members gain access to funding, educational workshops, technical assistance, and materials and resources for the successful establishment of sustainable garden projects. Dig In! Grants are available to eligible Passaic County groups and municipalities through a partnership with Passaic County. 

regenerative farming 

City Green’s urban farms are the heart of the organization and consist of two separate food production farms: the City Green Farm Eco-Center in Clifton, and the Learning Garden in Eastside Park in Paterson. City Green grows over 75 varieties of vegetables and herbs that are not only culturally appropriate for the communities they serve, but healthy, local, and delicious as well. Each farm adheres to organic growing practices to ensure healthy soil, healthy farm workers, and a healthy habitat for wildlife.  Farming methods include crop rotation, cover cropping, natural pest management, hand weeding, and planting disease-resistant crop varieties.  

 

The produce grown at City Green’s farms is distributed to the local community through a network of farmer’s markets and location-specific deliveries via the “Veggie Mobile,” with a goal of providing access to local farm-fresh food along with meaningful job and volunteer opportunities in an agricultural setting. But the importance of City Green’s farms goes far beyond its bountiful harvests. Through interaction with the farm operation, individuals are able to create a connection to their food, understand the value and importance of open space, gain an appreciation for nature and local agriculture, and understand the potential of urban farming in revitalizing urban areas and improving public health in local communities. City Green Farms help ensure that farmland remains and important and productive part of the northern New Jersey landscape.

markets & veggie mobile

To distribute the fresh produce grown at City Green’s farms and gardens, City Green operates a constantly expanding network of farm stands across northern New Jersey, with the goal of ensuring that affordable, local, farm-fresh food is available to everyone regardless of where they live.

 

Seasonal farm stands can always be found at the Farm Eco-Center in Clifton and the Passaic County "Pedestrian Plaza" in Paterson, where locals can purchase organic produce directly from where it was grown. Farm stands can also be found at additional locations throughout urban New Jersey, and specifically in “food desert” neighborhoods where affordable and healthy food is inaccessible. All City Green's markets accept and double federal food benefits so our customer's dollars go even further when purchasing fresh, local food. 

Directly integrated into the farm stand operation is City Green’s “Growing Strong” program, where local high school students are employed to grow and harvest the produce and bring it to market. Growing Strong interns manage the farm stands and sell the farm-fresh food directly to their own neighbors while helping customers understand the value and health benefits of cooking with organic vegetables.

 

In addition to providing direct access to healthy food at affordable prices, City Green’s farm stands function as community gathering spaces and visual reminders that fresh food is being grown right around the corner.  Farm stands generally operate from the first week of June until October or November when the first frost comes.

good food bucks & SNAP Fresh fruit & vegetable incentives

Local and organic produce can often be expensive and unaffordable, and this is especially true for low-income residents in New Jersey. To change this, City Green offers Good Food Bucks, a nutrition incentive program that allows recipients of WIC and SNAP benefits to use their federal food benefit dollars to purchase local organic produce from City Green’s farm stands and Veggie Mobile locations. Not only can recipients use their WIC and SNAP dollars to buy delicious local produce, but City Green doubles the value of those dollars, allowing recipients to purchase twice as much food as they could normally buy at the grocery store. This program creates a direct incentive for residents to spend their benefits on locally grown organic fruit and vegetables instead of commercially produced agriculture products, which may contain pesticides, fertilizers, and other harmful chemicals.

To expand the impact of its farm stands and Veggie Mobile locations and increase the overall access to healthy food for New Jersey residents, City Green created the Good Food Bucks program.  This program leverages the enormous potential of existing farmer’s markets in New Jersey to provide affordable food access in areas outside of City Green’s own area of operation. City Green provides support in the form of funding, training, and technical assistance to partner markets to run their own Good Food Bucks programs that incentivize low-income families to spend their federal food benefit dollars at their local farmer’s market. Through the Good Food Bucks program network, low-income families across the entire state can have access to the healthy, farm-fresh produce they deserve.

therapeutic horticulture

Horticultural Therapy gardens provide a safe and nurturing outdoor environment in which participants can connect with nature in a peaceful and purposeful way while improving their mental, social, and physical health.  Not only do participants enjoy the peace and solitude of nature – they will also enjoy the wide-ranging benefits of increased nutrition through access to organic, locally grown vegetables.  Organizations that partner with City Green to build Horticultural Therapy gardens receive instructor training and on-going support including the curriculum, resources, knowledge and enthusiasm necessary to implement healing gardens as an institutional asset and as a tool to enhance what they are already doing.

Adult education

Coming soon! 

Celebrations

Coming soon! 
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