Things have been heating up this summer here at Spark-Y, with awards, grants, and even a snippet of our organization on HBO.

The Latest and Greatest:

Spark-Y is featured in Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal for Minne Inno Award
We are the grateful recipients of a Minne Inno award, recognizing Twin Cities' startups that are blazing trails in technology and innovation. Spark-Y was awarded for innovation in Education and was subsequently in Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal - full article here.

Spark-Y recipient of major grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to fund Northeast Sustainability Hub
This grant will go towards the creation of a Northeast Sustainability Hub at our headquarters in The Casket Arts building. This project will include an expansion of our Urban Agriculture Lab into a farm surrounding the Casket Arts Building, including:

  • community farming zone to grow fresh, local produce, including raised garden beds

  • pollinators houses

  • composting

  • tools storage for outdoor work.

Through this project, we are empowering more community members, achieving a greater environmental impact, and strengthen our local economy.

In keeping with our self-sustaining model, the expansion will be naturally embedded into our operations — leveraging our established position as a community leader in education and sustainability to provide a new center for urban agricultural growth and discovery -- the Northeast Sustainability Hub.

HBO --- Wyatt Cenac's show, “Problem Areas,” came to Minneapolis to visit the Spark-Y Urban Agriculture Lab
Spark-Y’s microgreens timber-frame tower and Caitlin Barnhart, Spark-Y Urban Farm Manager, were featured in clips of the HBO show, “Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas.” HBO came to town to discuss health and school lunches and interview Minneapolis Public Schools Culinary and Wellness Director, Bertrand Weber, who connected show producers to Spark-Y through the youth in our Thomas Edison High School Program. This school program focuses on garden-to-cafeteria food, through an in-school aquaponics system and gardens combined with hands-on education for credit.

Staff and youth from Edison High School were filmed for for the day at our headquarters in the Casket Arts Building, an experience our youth were very excited about. You can watch the full episode here. And those microgreens Wyatt is staring so lovingly at? Yeah! That’s us!

Wyatt Cenac with Spark-Y staff and Edison youth.

Wyatt Cenac with Spark-Y staff and Edison youth.

Special thanks to our supporters, partners, and friends for sharing our work and helping us to continue our mission of youth empowerment!