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Non-profit in Grand Rapids turns vacant lots into community gardens

Urban Roots call themselves a "community farm, market and education center" based out of southeast Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Urban Roots is a non-profit organization that turns empty, derelict city lots into community gardens. They primarily focus on developing food gardens in the southeast side of Grand Rapids.

Levi Gardner, the founder and executive director of Urban Roots says they use marginalized spaces for these gardens. "It started with growing on abandoned lots in the city," he said.

Urban Roots started in 2013 as a way to transform parts of the city into spaces for urban agriculture.

"Unfortunately the area of 49507, some call it a food desert, some say it's food insecure, some say there's lack of food access, we just know there is not an abundance of healthy food culture," said Gardner.

The team with Urban Roots is based out of the Madison neighborhood.

"We as an organization want to be a beacon, a catalyst for change in the line of work. I think that this is at the heart of that work."

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