DOI / VISTA Team News

DOI/VISTA Tracey Pollock Helps Junior Farmers Revitalize Downtown Neighborhoods

by Michael Ann Dulcie, Outreach Coordinator
November 4, 2014

DOI/VISTA Tracey Pollock is serving at a Groundwork project in the fourth most economically groundwork Milwaukeedepressed city in the nation, Milwaukee, WI. One of Tracey's main focuses is planning projects for the Junior Young Farmers program--an employment skills training initiative for kids between the ages of 8 and 24 from the hardest hit areas of the City. 

Milwaukee has seen a drastic increase in poverty over the past few decades due to manufacturing jobs leaving the city. The kids served by this program are responsible for managing community gardens on vacant lots throughout the city. Community leaders have partnered with Groundwork Milwaukee to utilize these abandoned spaces to reach the future leaders of the neighborhood, who not only learn basic gardening skills like planting, watering and harvesting; they also learn vital job skills. The Junior Young Farmers learn leadership and teamwork skills that filter out to each neighborhood--creating a new found sense of hope and community.

"As a lifelong resident of Wisconsin, I am really proud to live in Milwaukee. The city has a lot of social problems related to poverty, but we have a rich history and a culture of activism that flows from our neighborhoods to the city center. Together, we will build a thriving city once again. The Junior Young Farmers help me to see that our future is right in front of me." ~DOI/VISTA Tracey Pollock