Defined as a ‘deeply spiritual and healing model’ for the community, the Urban Garden Resiliency Oasis, affectionately UGRO, is turning a forgotten Southwest neighborhood into a leading example of how a garden can transform a community.

Located in the Oakland City community, UGRO has encountered resistance from young neighbors who have vandalized and stolen tools from the community garden.

Instead of identifying those youth as criminals, the garden leaders will actively engage them to enhance their outdoor experiences through Science/Technology/Engineering/Math (STEM) based garden activities, leadership exercises, and of course, healthy food awareness and access.

With Food Well Alliance’s financial support, UGRO will continue to aide in healing the neighborhood through restoring the residents’ connection to food. The model thrives on abundance where food, skills, and assistance is readily available to the community.

The awarded money will also increase security in the garden to prevent future vandalism and theft; making it a safe zone for community members who seek a therapeutic getaway amidst the turbulent neighborhood.