One of L+M’s 2019 Grantees, Services for the Underserved (SUS), is providing training in horticulture to more than 25 participants at East 162nd Street Court in the Bronx. SUS’ specialized Urban Farms group developed this training program to teach core skills needed for positions in the horticulture industry as well as personal passion projects like volunteering in a community park or garden.
The free, three-month training program focuses on theory as well as practical skills. Each week participants are learning gardening skills from the ground up and covering topics from safety to soil health. They are also getting hands-on experience with projects like learning how to make supports for climbing plants, safely use power tools and build a raised garden bed. Once the participants complete the training, they’ll be equipped with skills for positions such as groundskeepers, landscapers, or even urban farmers.
The training program will expand in the fall to include workforce read iness and focus on essential workplace skills such as communications, teamwork, networking, problem-solving and professionalism.
More than 300 people a year work, train, plant and grow in seven SUS Urban Farms spread across four boroughs. In addition to therapeutic horticulture, nutritional programming, and employment opportunities, SUS Urban Farms also generated more than 4,000 pounds of food, which is shared among local residents, and employed 25 people in 2018! L+M is very proud to support SUS and this program that is connecting New Yorkers to new skills and training opportunities.