Client

Services

Year

Food Forest

Nurture

Nurture is an innovative food producing program that supports youth-led gardens and food forest plantings across Waterloo Region.

A group of five young people standing in a community garden in front of a building. In the foreground is bins with pea pods inside.

About this project

Nurture’s goal is to foster positive mental health among youth by making Waterloo Region a sustainable food forest. Nurture was built out of the GreenHouse Initiative, a social impact incubator based at the University of Waterloo.

Nurture won GreenHouse People's Choice in Winter 2022. After that, Smart Waterloo Region Innovation Lab took on Nurture as one of our primary youth engagement projects. This came about in response to increased youth demand for garden spaces to support mental health, coupled with emerging food production innovations by youth connected to the lab.

In 2023, we partnered with Seeds of Diversity's Youth in Food Sytems program to distribute food from Nurture gardens through their youth-led food markets and collaborate on educational programming.

Our goal is to grow 50% of Waterloo Region's food through front yard, back yard, and community gardens led by youth.

A group of six young people standing in a community garden in front of a school.

10 gardens and counting!

  • Franklin Public School
  • St. Daniel Catholic Elementary School
  • Centennial Public School
  • Floradale Public School
  • Prueter Public School
  • Rockway Public School
  • Glencairn Public School
  • St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School
  • Resurrection Catholic Secondary School
  • Eastwood Collegiate Institute

Want to start a garden in your community?

We're always looking to create more garden spaces!

If you have a space for a youth-led garden or are interested in being part of one please email Nikola at nbarsoum@regionofwaterloo.ca.

Latest works

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Image of two phones with an app running. The app has a map in the background and a chat bot answering questions.
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A translation tool that supports voice, file and keyboard input with 27 commonly used language types around the Waterloo Region.