About UsOur Story
The Growing Hope Story
In 1999 the Perry Learning Garden (PLG) was established in Ypsilanti, MI to bring garden-based learning to young people at the Perry Child Development Center and in the surrounding neighborhood. Interest grew and soon the PLG volunteers were working with partner organizations to expand community gardens and youth garden programs around Ypsilanti. Through early partnerships with Creative Change Educational Solutions, the City of Ypsilanti, Chidester Place Community Health Partners, and others, new gardens and programs blossomed.
The Perry Learning Garden became Growing Hope, a federally recognized 501c3 nonprofit organization, in 2003. Since then, Growing Hope has been empowering local communities to grow fresh produce, revitalize neighborhoods, and teach one another the beauty and hope that comes from nurturing soil, seeds and self.
Growing Hope began with the vision of using community and school gardens—and the education that they provide—as vehicles for positive social, economic, environmental, and neighborhood change. In 2005, recognizing that food insecurity is a key issue for many in the Ypsilanti area, we expanded the ways Growing Hope was providing access to and education around healthy food.
Our work now includes supporting gardening in home, school, and community settings; managing and advocating for farmers markets and farm stands; increasing economic development through food and agriculture; engaging 700 youth and teens each year in healthy cooking, nutrition, and gardening; and advocating for local to national policy change to support healthy schools, families, and communities.