Since 1997, Urban Roots has provided paid internships to youth on the East Side of Saint Paul. Youth interns develop leadership, entrepreneurial, and life skills through our Market Garden, Conservation, and Cook Fresh Programs. Each year, 60 youth interns, ages 14-18, participate in our progressive, tiered programming, connecting to one another and to the world around them.    Learn More


urban roots market garden

Market Garden

Market Garden youth interns plant, maintain, and harvest small-scale crop production within our urban gardens. We promote entrepreneurship by teaching youth interns to manage gardens and cro

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urban roots cook fresh

Cook Fresh

Youth interns learn about the food we grow and how to prepare it fresh from the garden. Youth also create seed-to-table meals for chef-lead lunches for summer programming, create healthy rec

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urban roots conservation


Conservation youth interns support and improve green spaces around the East Side, and participate in the restoration of local parks through removal of invasive plant material, native seed co

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Join us as we grow brighter futures.

Volunteer at Urban Roots

Your contribution will help us continue and expand our opportunities for youth interns to operate gardening, entrepreneurship, cooking, and conservation projects that improve the community’s health and environment and develop skills and career pathways.


We’ve been in East Saint Paul building community capacity and setting up youth for success for 20 years! Urban Roots, formerly Community Design Center of Minnesota, was incorporated in 1969. Over the years, we have provided a range of community development services in Minneapolis, Saint Paul and southern Minnesota, including architecture, urban planning, economic development and organizational development—with a common thread of empowerment, engagement and innovation



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