Increasing healthy food access for youth, by youth.
A vertical shot of a garden. There is a long, straight pathway down the middle and gardens covering the left side of the pathway. On the right there is a shed and other gardens. At the very end of the pathway is one young person wearing a yellow shirt gardening.

Our Vision

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Youth-designed and tended Food Forest gardens at every school
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Easy access to healthy & local food for all youth, every day
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Regenerative gardens that support non-human communities
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Opportunities for meaningful relationships with peers and the land
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Networks for adult allies in local food hubs and as garden mentors
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Empowered 'food literate' youth with access to developing more advanced food skills
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Youth can see, feel, and know the positive impact their actions have in their communities

We run a variety of programs throughout the year. Both young people and adults are welcome.

Get involved!

Get involved

Two young people working in a garden. They are trellissing tomatoes.
For youth
Grow food
Winter: Design a Food Forest for a local school in Waterloo Region.

Summer: Paid positions in local school gadens. Grow food for your community and find belonging in the garden.
Join the waitlist
An overhead shot of two young people working in a garden. They are harvesting zucchini.
For adults
Support youth teams
Volunteer: If you have gardening experience or are passionate about our local food system.

Donate materials: Support local school gardens by providing tools and materials.
Contact us
An older woman and a younger woman talking in a garden. One of them is holding a green watering can.
For schools
Request support
Connect with us to start a Food Forest garden at your school!

We can discuss putting together a youth team to tend to the gardens over the summer.
Contact us

Sponsor a Youth-Led Garden

Invest in the future of our youth and the health of our community.
Your contribution will have a lasting impact - promoting sustainability, education, and well-being.

2024 Youth Food Forest Design Teams

Join a 2025 Team
Four girls sitting around a large table with a map on it. On the map are drawings and stickers to illustrate their food forest design.
Eastwood Collegiate Institute
Johanna, Leo, Neha, and Vivienne designed a new food forest garden that would beautify the school grounds and create a welcoming space.
Watch video
Three girls sitting around a large table with a map on it. On the map are drawings and stickers to illustrate their food forest design.
Resurrection Catholic Secondary School
Clancy, Gaby, and Jan designed a food forest garden in an underdeveloped area of the school grounds. The space will now be fully enjoyed by humans and animals.
Watch video
Two boys and a woman leaning over a large table with a map on it. On the map are drawings and stickers to illustrate their food forest design.
Rockway Public School
Krithik and Theo designed a food forest garden with pathways to make it easier for elementary students to travel through the schoolyard.
Watch video
A food forest garden. Trees and plants of various sizes and types. A green wheel barrow is in the foreground and a small wooden shed is in the background.

What is a Food Forest?

A way of growing food that also focus on regenerating the health of the local ecosystem. These perrenial food gardens strive to mimic the architecture and beneficial relationships of a natural forest ecosystem.

Food forests offer efficient nutrient cycling. They are 'self-fertilizing' through by using plants that are nitrogen-fixing, plants that raise nutrients from the subsoil, plants that attract predators of pests, and plants that reduce disease problems. Diversity is key, as high diversity almost always increases ecosystem health.

Contact us
Nurture partners:
Smart Waterloo Region black logo.Youth in Food Systems logo.Seeds of Diversity logo.Logo for SGS CanadaRegion of Waterloo transparent logo.
Social media

Follow Nurture on Instagram

Other Projects

Smart Waterloo Region Innovation Lab Projects


Community Canvas

A communty art project dedicated to the artistic and cultural development of youth ideas in Waterloo Region.

GIMI Impact

A curriculum empowering youth to build out their ideas and improve their community.

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