Community GroundWorks is a nonprofit organization that connects people to nature and local food.

Organized in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2001 as The Friends of Troy Gardens, Community GroundWorks grows wholesome and organic food for local tables, stewards urban natural areas, inspires healthful eating and offers hand-on learning opportunities for children and adults. On-site educational programs focus on the sustainable care and responsible stewardship of the 26-acre Troy Gardens.

The Troy Kids' Garden, over 300 community gardens, diverse urban natural areas and the Troy Community Farm invite people of all ages to connect to the land's food and nature at Community GroundWorks’ flagship site, Troy Gardens. Off-site projects, including the Goodman Youth Farm and the Gardener-in-Residence program, collaborate with area schools to help students understand where their food comes from and how to grow healthy food.

Finally, the Wisconsin School Garden Network (WSGN) is a project of Community GroundWorks that supports youth gardening at early care, school and after-school sites across Wisconsin.

Why Community GroundWorks?

Community Groundworks offers MPH students a chance to become part of an innovative nonprofit focused on food, kids, nature and public health. Community Groundworks offers flexible schedules, diverse program experiences and extremely meaningful work.

Project opportunities

  • Program assessment and evaluation to determine the effectiveness of current youth programming
  • Assist in evaluation planning process to assess current and future organizational goals
  • Program implementation: assist with day to day activities of youth programs, including leading hands-on organic gardening, culinary arts, and environmental education activities to a diverse population of Madison-area school-aged children. Hands-on opportunities begin in mid-April and continue through the middle of August.

Ideal student qualifications

  • An interest and passion in growing food, the value of healthy eating and healthy communities
  • The willingness to be involved and engaged in hands-on activities including gardening, culinary arts and nutrition education
  • An interest in all aspects of program assessment (data collection, survey design and implementation), program evaluation, and program enhancement and implementation
  • Interest and ability to work and communicate effectively with youth from diverse backgrounds, professionals, agencies and community members
  • Strong writing and speaking skills and initiative to learn about the topic area when provided resources