- Crop Production: municipal wastes, nutrient cycling, nutrient management
- Education and Training: youth education
- Energy: byproduct utilization
- Natural Resources/Environment: drift/runoff buffers, habitat enhancement, soil stabilization
- Soil Management: composting, soil analysis, soil quality/health
- Sustainable Communities: community development, leadership development, partnerships, quality of life, social networks, sustainability measures
Every summer, 30-40 youth gain paid, real-world job experience as Spark-Y interns, completing green projects for
community partners as teams and gaining real-world experience supporting sustainable agriculture. The team
funded by this grant would work to design, build and/or improve a school or community garden to be chosen from
a pool of proposals by Spark-Y partners. They also would have the opportunity to participate in a research team
at the University of St. Thomas to better understand nutrient cycling in urban agriculture. This would
Project objectives from proposal:
1. Provide student interns with project management, entrepreneurial, and sustainable systems training.
2. Empower students to educate and inspire their communities through presentations demonstrating that green
agricultural systems are both approachable and offer return-on-investment.
3. Provide real-world fundraising and marketing experience to student interns to equip them to gather the
resources and interest necessary to champion sustainable causes.
4. Collaborate with a University of St. Thomas research group on nutrient study to ascertain how efficiently
phosphorus from organic compost is recycled, with a goal to establish parameters that maximize yields and