Month: June 2015

Apply by June 30: Minnesota GreenCorps Member at Urban Roots

Urban Roots has been chosen to be a host site for a 2015-2016 Minnesota GreenCorps Member. The GreenCorps member will work with the Urban Roots Market Garden and Conservation Programs and work with teens in designing and implementing pollinator gardens, rain gardens, nature area restoration, geocaching and other outdoor activities, together with growing and marketing produce from six urban production sites.

Applications to MN GreenCorps all go through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). The MPCA is now accepting applications through June 30, 2015 from individuals interested in serving as an AmeriCorps member in MN GreenCorps for the 2015-2016 program year. Full-time positions will begin in mid-to-late September 2015 and last through August 2016, with members serving approximately 40 hours per week. Learn more and find out how to apply here through the MN Pollution Control Agency.

Job Description:

Youth Program Supervisor/GreenCorps member at Urban Roots

The GreenCorps member at Urban Roots will work with staff and the youth we serve. They will lead outreach and education efforts through partnering organizations (St. Paul public schools, public libraries, etc) to encourage sustainable living through outdoor play, urban gardening, healthy eating habits, biking for transportation, and using rain gardens to help with storm water management. The GreenCorps member’s projects will serve to improve the St. Paul community’s attitudes towards the environment through increased education and empowerment through action projects to ultimately improve both human and environmental health of the East Side community.

The GreenCorps member will work with the Market Garden and the Conservation Programs as part of a Program Team. The responsibilities include:

• With the Market Garden Program, provide knowledge and assistance to produce and prepare locally and organically grown vegetables and fruits, especially though community garden plots and school garden programs.
• With the Conservation Program – build awareness, appreciation, and respect for urban natural spaces through restoration projects and environmental education, encouraging the creation and maintenance of pollinator habitat, building confidence and awareness around the use of bikes as an alternative form of transportation, building, maintaining, and providing education around storm water management (rain gardens) both in public and private spaces.
• Support and work with youth and the Urban Roots staff in conducting education and enrichment activities in the community.
• Support and expand Urban Roots current outreach activities with local after school programs, focusing on teaching youth about local foods, the importance of pollinators, their role in the water cycle, and learning about their local parks and natural areas.
• Document results and submit quarterly and final projects to MPCA, including lessons learned that can inform and benefit other communities.

For more information about the GreenCorps Member work at Urban Roots, please contact our Conservation Program Manager (651-228-7073, ext 16).

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Live Auction Excitement

From a New York City food tour to an outdoor canoe adventure, our live auction will have what you’re looking for! On Sunday, July 19, Urban Roots is hosting our 5th Annual Celebration Dinner at the Saint Paul Hotel. New this year will be a live auction. Check out the amazing packages you could bid on and win at our event!

Chef’s Table at Heartland Restaurant & Wine Bar (Party of 6)
Estimated Value: $2,000


The Chef’s Table experience includes a table outside the kitchen, a dedicated server as well as the presentation of each course by the Chef. An in depth behind the scenes tour of the facilities is given prior to the meal. The menu is custom designed, and wines are paired with each course (or pairings with beer, cocktails or nonalcoholic cocktails). The details of the menu and the scope of it are predicated by budget, personal preference and dietary concerns and constraints. Diners are not made aware of the actual menu, but are instead greeted with it when they arrive. The anticipation and surprise are part of the experience…Read More

Outward Bound Canoe Trip (Party of 12)
Estimated Value: $1,300


Voyage with your canoe through lakes and portage trails in pristine wilderness areas. Learn to read the river with skill and intimacy and take your turn paddling your canoe. Custom group canoe trips are designed specifically for your group. The wildnerness is our classroom and experience is our teacher. We will work with you to design course learning objectives and logistics. Plan a canoe trip for up to 12 participants for Fall 2015…Read More

Wine Region Escape in Sonoma, CA
Estimated Value: $5,000

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

Gorgeous scenery 

and premier luxury surround you in Sonoma, California for 5 days and 4 nights at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa with Economy Class air for two. The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa sits in the idyllic California’s renowned wine country, replete with an abundance of nearby wineries, epicurean delights, and breathtaking scenery. For hundreds of years, ancient thermal mineral waters have graced this site. Today, the resort is proud to be one of the only luxury Spa resorts in the country with its own source of thermal mineral water. All guests may partake in daily complimentary hike and bike adventures. Your trip for two includes: Round 

trip economy class air, 5 days/4 nights accommodations in King or Queen room, daily complimentary breakfast, all room-related taxes, daily complimentary wine tastings in hotel lobby, complimentary bottle of wine upon arrival, free concierge reservation service… Read More
Savor New York City Food Tour
Estimated Value: $4,000

South Street Seaport, NY

Explore Manhattan’s history through its food in New York, New York for 4 days and 3 nights at the Grand Hyatt New York including your choice of one food tour. Come along with expert guides to explore the delicious foods and beverages in Manhattan’s most interesting neighborhoods. The historic East Village neighborhood is known for its rich culture, from art and fashion to music and politics, and very importantly, for its food! You won’t be able to get enough of the authentic NY pizza and hot dogs, homemade Ukrainian pierogies and soup, deli sandwiches, egg creams, Chinese dumplings and ice cream. The Lower East Side, one of the oldest, yet trendiest, neighborhoods in Manhattan boasts a rich immigrant history, and a menu to compliment it with authentic Neapolitan pizza, bialys, pickles, knishes, Greek spinach pie and souvlaki, gourmet chocolates and donuts. The eclectic neighborhood of NoLita, adjacent to Little Italy, is home to the Italian immigrants who came to America at the end of the 19th century. These streets house the oldest pizzeria in the U.S., the old police headquarters and DiPalo Fine Foods. Savor Italian cheeses and meats, Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches, delicious French quiche, Mexican yucca fries, Spanish tapas, handmade candy and NY style cheesecake while you learn about mafia history! Your trip for two includes: Round trip Economy Class air for two, 4 days/3 nights, all room-related taxes, free concierge reservation service and your choice of a New York City Food Tour (Flavors of New York or Lower East Side Artisian Tour or NoLita: Eat a Bite of Ethic New York)… Read More

Mario Andretti Racing Experience for Two
Estimated Value: $Priceless

racing 2

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! Get ready to bridge the gap between fantasy and reality with the Mario Andretti Racing Experience. The “world’s fastest driving experience” offers full-size Indy-style race cars similar to the race cars driven by Mario himself, and puts you in the driver’s seat! With no lead car to follow and two-way car radio communication with your personal spotter, it’s just you, the car and the speedway! Your choice of Arizona, Illinois, New Hampshire or North Carolina for 3 days and 2 nights with a Mario Andretti Racing Experience and accommodations at a Fairmont, Marriott, Hyatt or similar property. Your trip for two includes: 3 days/2 nights, all room-related taxes, free concierge reservation service, one 3-hour Mario Andretti racing experience; including a driver’s meeting with the crew chief, in car 2-way radio and personal racing instructors (per person) with a souvenir racing license and graduate certificate…Read More


New items will be posted as they are received. Questions can be directed to our Events & Marketing Intern.

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This Summer: Tuesday Chef-Lead Lunches

The Cooking & Wellness Program is gearing up for a fantastic few months! Eight new interns will be joining us and five will be returning to take on significant leadership roles. They will be teaching each other about healthy eating and learning how to cook simple, wholesome dishes to nourish their bodies and tastebuds.

Last summer the Cooking & Wellness Program piloted a project where local chefs worked with our teen interns to plan, prepare and serve lunches for all of their fellow interns using produce grown in our gardens. It was a huge success! The interns had a great time learning from chefs, as well as creating delicious healthy meals that everyone was excited to eat. Our talented volunteer chefs enjoyed working with the youth and were impressed with their skills. We are taking the project full-scale this summer by creating lunches every Tuesday for all 60 youth interns and their supervisors. We can’t wait to see (and taste) all of the interns’ delicious creations!

Each week, a local chef will be joining the cooking team to help us develop and prepare the lunch. We will learn from a variety of culinary experts, and everyone will be able to enjoy a creative meal that will include produce from our gardens. This weekly event will give the interns a chance to showcase their hard work and present it in a tangible, delicious form!

We are still happily taking donations to support this amazing program, so please contact our Cooking & Wellness Summer Supervisor if interested!

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Dogwood, Dwarf Bush and Bees

When you think about beehives, you may not think about planting trees and shrubs. But our Conservation Crew youth interns are seeing the big picture.

This week, 14 conservation interns met up at Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary to plant 30 shrubs and trees. Plants included pagoda dogwood, dwarf bush honeysuckle and eastern redbud. These plants were put in to provide habitat and a windbreak around newly-installed beehives.

The hives are a part of an experiment being done by the U of M Bee Squad to see the viability of community apiaries (a collection of beehives). The soil was very rocky, which made for a lot of hard work. Our Conservation Crew persevered and accomplished a lot, especially considering this is only their first week of summer programming!






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Vote for Sundance Family Foundation before June 30

Successful partnerships advance the missions of both organizations by being mutually beneficial with a strong working relationship and communication. Both partners give some and get some, and the partnership purpose grows more than the sum of each alone. This is the case with the Sundance Family Foundation and its nonprofit partners. A stalwart foundation partner of Urban Roots, the Sundance Family Foundation has been selected as a finalist for the annual Minnesota Council of Nonprofits 2015 Nonprofit Mission and Excellence Awards in the category of Responsive Philanthropy.

This prestigious award honors the efforts and vision of nonprofits and foundations as recognized and selected by their peers. Voting runs from June 15 – 30, 2015. All staff, volunteers and board members of MNCN member organizations are welcome to vote. Please feel free to share the news with your networks.

Urban Roots wholeheartedly supports the Sundance Family Foundation for this award in Responsive Philanthropy. If you consider yourself a volunteer with Urban Roots and would like to vote, please contact Glen Hill for our member ID# so you can vote.

Founded in 2003 by Nancy Jacobs and Mark Sandercott, the Sundance Family Foundation makes grants to nonprofit organization partners who support youth development and strengthen family stability. Sundance is committed to cultivating the field of Youth Social Entrepreneurship (YSE) which helps youth find their potential and advance into careers and/or businesses that benefit their communities. To build on our mutual strengths, Sundance organized the Youth Social Entrepreneurship Collaborative with local nonprofit partners to build the pioneering field of Youth Social Entrepreneurship (YSE). YSE programs open opportunities for youth to take leadership roles, advance through post-secondary trainings, obtain advanced degrees, and become the entrepreneurs who will shape the future economies of their neighborhoods. Sundance not only has provided grants to support YSE programs as Urban Roots, Cookie Cart, Appetite for Change, Cycles for Change, Youth Express, Project Sweetie Pie, Youth Farm, and others, they also organize workshops and program exchanges and actively seek other resources to support their partners. These entrepreneurial programs have ignited opportunities for youth to confidently explore their interests and to pursue options that they may have never considered. In this way, in our view, Sundance Family Foundation is an engaging and responsive philanthropic foundation.

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Drip Irrigation in Our Urban Gardens

Have you been by to see the spectacular transformation the Dayton’s Bluff Youth Garden has undergone this season? If you pass the corner of 3rd and Maria in East Side Saint Paul, you will notice our switch to production beds in order to maximize growing space — and it looks great!

With the help of a Mill City Farmers Market grant, we were able to install drip irrigation systems at both the Dayton’s Bluff Youth Garden as well as the Urban Roots home gardens. Drip irrigation is the most efficient watering system, requiring about half as much water as overhead sprinklers. Through a series of tubes and black “tape” with slits every foot that will be in place fort the season, the crops are watered by a slow drip. Thus the water soaks directly into the beds with no runoff and minimal evaporation.

With our youth intern summer session kick-off this week, we are excited to have drip irrigation implemented! The youth interns in our Market Garden Program will be able to learn about watering produce the way most organic production farms irrigate their vegetables.

Check out the happily watered vegetables in our gardens!
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Rain Garden at Dayton's Bluff Elementary

Since March, youth interns working in the Conservation Crew have been collaborating with fifth grade science classes at Dayton’s Bluff Elementary School to renovate a rain garden at their school.
First, we used native plant seeds collected by Urban Roots interns in the fall to start the plants indoors. Urban Roots helped care for the plants until the time came for planting.

As the Dayton’s Bluff Elementary’s rain garden begins it’s overhaul, fifth and third graders have been coming out to work and plant side-by-side with our conservation crew.

The young students have enjoyed getting outside and playing in the dirt. They are pleased with their rain garden and are excited to keep an eye on their plants as they bloom. Take a look at planting day!





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Mississippi Market's Positive Change for Urban Roots

The entire month of June both Saint Paul Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op locations will be collecting donations for Urban Roots!

Thanks to Mississippi Market’s Positive Change Program, each store will be collecting 10 cent bag credits and “round-up” donations to support our youth programming. Until June 30, you will be asked if you’d like to round up your receipt total to include a donation or if you’d like to purchase a reusable bag. When you agree, you are supporting Urban Roots.

Next time you’re out running errands, consider stopping at one of Mississippi Market’s local store locations:

622 Selby Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55104
Open daily 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

1500 W. 7th Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102
Open daily 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Happy Shopping!

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Edible Invasive Plants

Last week was the last week of spring programming with our youth interns. In the Conservation Crew a big focus of their work in the spring was removing garlic mustard, an invasive plant that can rapidly take over a woodland if unmanaged. Our interns spent their shifts in the woods filling trash bags with the plant to then bring to a local composting site.

But for our last shift we took a new spin on how to remove invasive plants — we ate them. We collected garlic mustard, burdock and cattails and brought them back to our kitchen to prepare a meal of wild edibles.

We used the garlic mustard leaves to create a pesto, braised the burdock roots in soy sauce and sautéed cattail shoots in olive oil and garlic. The youth interns’ favorite was the garlic mustard pesto, but they were surprised how delicious it turned out.

Bellow is the recipe we used for our invasive plant pesto:
Garlic Mustard Pesto

• 3 cups Garlic Mustard leaves, washed, patted dry and packed in a measuring cup
• 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
• 1 cup Walnuts
• 1 cup Olive Oil
• 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
• Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine Garlic Mustard leaves, garlic and walnuts in food processor and chop. (Or divide recipe in half and use a blender.) With motor running, add olive oil slowly. Shut off motor. Add cheeses, salt and pepper. Process briefly to combine. Enjoy!




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