CHICAGO — A $1 million federal grant was recently awarded to the Urban Growers Collective, a Black and woman-led nonprofit that was started in Chicago in 2017.

The nonprofit, which operates eight farms over 11 acres of land on the South and West sides of Chicago, uses urban agriculture as a method to address inequities and structural racism in communities around the city. 

According to Development Manager Brandon Lov, the recently awarded USDA Urban and Community Forestry Grant will help the nonprofit incorporate trees into its work.

Lov said the nonprofit currently focuses primarily on vegetable and crop production. However now, using the grant money, the nonprofit plans to plant trees, integrate the tees into the food system and share the knowledge with its staff, program participants and the community. 

According to Lov, the trees will be planted at the nonprofit’s South Chicago farm and at its Green Era Urban Energy Campus, located in the city’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood, however, the nonprofit says it also plans to distribute trees to the public and community members.

In 2022, the Urban Growers Collective produced 15,000 pounds of food at its farms, which was then distributed through various food access pathways and market pathways.  

Visit the Urban Growers Collective website for more information on the nonprofit.