Louisville Grows’ mission is to grow a just and sustainable community through urban agriculture, urban forestry, and environmental education.
Our programs include: ten community gardens, four public orchards, the Hope Farm Refugee Training Farm and CSA, the Love Louisville Trees urban reforestation initiative, Healthy House wellness education and arts programming, Citizen Forester and Citizen Gardener volunteer training programs, the Urban Growers Series hands-on gardening education program, and Seeds and Starts plant sales.
In 2009, Louisville Grows was founded to assist community groups and individuals on their journey towards sustainability. Between 2009-2011, Louisville Grows assisted with the creation of 13 community gardens across Metro Louisville with a focus on food-insecure neighborhoods in West Louisville. In fall 2011, Louisville Grows was officially designated as a 501(c)(3) organization and began working with Metro Council District 5 to develop a vision for a 5-acre mixed-use agricultural site. Located at 536 North 44th Street, this site later transformed into the People’s Garden, which today houses 6,000 square feet of greenhouse space, a 25-member community garden, a fruit orchard, educational programs, and community gathering space. Louisville Grows later worked with community members to start the Shippingport Memorial Garden in Portland, the Community Green School in Parkland, and the Hope Community Garden in Beechmont. After releasing the Louisville Grows Community Garden Toolkit and Garden Grant in 2017, Louisville Grows continued to grow a greener community by sponsoring seven additional gardens across the city.
In summer 2015, Louisville Grows partnered with Gate of Hope Ministries to create the Hope Community Farm, a 45-member community garden, farm, and CSA. The urban farm is located at 1400 Bicknell Ave and encompasses 5 acres, and participants are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. The CSA offers 40 shares available to community members with plans to expand in the coming growing seasons.
Louisville Grows focuses on rebuilding the urban tree canopy through our neighborhood-based reforestation program, Love Louisville Trees. To date we have planted over 1,800 trees and provide routine inspections to ensure the tree’s success in the three years after planting. We also manage several edible food forests that provide access to seasonal and local fruit for neighborhood residents.
In spring 2017, Louisville Grows opened a new office and community space, the Healthy House. Located at 1641 Portland Avenue, the Healthy House is an engaging, energy efficient, sustainable community space that connects local residents to health, wellness, and green education. The Healthy House offers conference, activity, event, and classroom areas, as well as a commercial kitchen for cooking classes.