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City Green Shares “Community Connections” at the 33rd Annual NOFA NJ Winter Conference

Last Saturday, members of our team presented at the NOFA NJ Winter Conference. The workshop “Community Connections: Low-Impact Ways to Engage Community on the Farm” was delivered by Director of Food Access Lisa Martin, Director of Community Horticulture Liz Kleisner, and Director of Community Engagement Jasmine Moreano. They shared insight into how our community-based programs function to deepen relationships with our local community and offered tips and ideas for other organizations to do the same.

Lisa discussed the value of nutrition assistance programs as an essential component of creating a welcoming and inclusive farm stand/market space for all community members. She shared that by accepting SNAP, WIC, Senior FMNP, and City Green’s Good Food Bucks Nutrition Incentive Program, farmers and farmers markets can broaden their customer bases, increase their sales, create more food equity, and build a healthier community. Lisa also provided information for growers and retailers on becoming SNAP/WIC/Senior FMNP authorized and how to accept Good Food Bucks, information that can also be found at the Farmers for Food Access Resource Hub.

Liz offered some insight into different methods to engage youth at the farm through low-impact educational opportunities. At the Farm Eco-Center we provide opportunities like passive recreation, Farm and Garden camp, Storytime in the Garden, and service learning field trips. These opportunities create connections and deeper understandings of the farm, educate a new generation of youth who care about food systems/sustainability, and increase access to green spaces and recreational opportunities for families. Liz encouraged other farming and gardening organizations to leverage community partnerships and volunteer support, use the farm as the teacher, and repeat content to introduce low-impact educational programs to youth in their communities.

Lastly, Jasmine shared how providing volunteer opportunities creates a space for neighbors to connect with land, agriculture, and their community. By offering volunteer sessions, organizations can harness the power of people and accomplish regular farm tasks or larger capital improvement projects. Jasmine offered a “Recipe for Volunteer Success” that includes identifying labor needs, hosting special volunteer events, providing an educational component, and planning volunteer celebration events.

City Green staff attended the conference and participated in lectures and workshops about creating food systems change, growing and restoring native plants and medicinal herbs, the future of regenerative agriculture, and more.

City Green is a 501(c)3 urban farming and gardening organization based in Clifton, New Jersey working to revitalize urban areas through agriculture and educational programming. It offers practical, technical and financial resources in support of environmental stewardship, equitable access to healthy food, and ecologically sustainable communities. For more information contact Jasmine Moreano, Director of Community Engagement and Advocacy or visit


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