Community Roots
A Garden Training Program for Young Adults

Community Roots is a leadership training program with employment, community engagement and food justice at its core. The program is centered in the Hunter School Garden which has been a source of fresh food and pride in the South Fairbanks community for many years.

Please check back in early 2025 to apply for next summer!

Become a Garden Leader

Join us in leading the way to a healthier future for our community!

Be part of a team of employed Garden Leaders who will:

    • Plant and care for the Hunter Garden
    • Lead young children in exploring the garden
    • Cook garden produce and teach others
    • Learn about Food Justice and food security
    • Learn how to run a farm stand
    • Work to create goals and action plans for neighborhood food security
    • Document the experience in the program using audio and video

As a Garden Leader you will learn how to grow food for your community, gain work experience for your resume, develop strong community connections, and earn a living while you learn valuable skills! No experience is necessary - all you need is an interest in growing food and working with the community!

Past Graduates


Lynsie Paul


Stella Organek


Piper Suscha

"Working as a Garden Leader made me realize the significance of growing food and collaborating with the community and I was fortunate to be a part of it!" Lynsie Paul


"On the surface level, this program has taught me how to grow a garden and about current issues our community faces surrounding food justice/insecurity. On a deeper level, this program has taught me the importance of a strong community relationship and that more people should have access to nourishing foods." — Stella Organek


"I am so grateful to have had this experience! My time working with Calypso has been so fun and so insightful. I’ve learned so much about plant life and people and we’ve even learned culinary skills! My co-workers have become lifelong friends and I have developed skills that I will use throughout the rest of my life. This garden has had a permanent positive impact on my life. I highly recommend being a part of this team." — Piper Suscha


Kaylana Nations


Nanieezh Peter


Shayna Matson

"This program has taught me a lot about not only gardening but also how to lead groups, help insecure communities and provide for myself and others. The process has been so rewarding. This experience has allowed me to learn how I can used certain vegetables, how to test soil, how to work with kids and much more. I hope to start a garden of my own in the future."
— Kaylana Nations


"It’s been so lovely working in the Community Roots Garden. Meeting inspirational young women and building community and knowledge from one another. From breaking ground to eating a home cooked meal, there is so much to know and so many steps to take. It’s been an incredible summer that I won’t forget. — Nanieezh Peter


"I have accomplished and learned so much about gardens and sustainability as a Garden Leader with the Community Roots Program. We transformed an empty back yard into a beautiful garden completely by hand. We also learned from community leaders about soil testing, fermentation techniques, and cooking tips. What I’ve learned from this program has been incredibly empowering." — Shayna Matson

What is a Garden Leader?

Open to ages 16-24*

Garden Leaders will gain work experience and job skills by engaging in hands-on garden training while growing food in the Hunter School Garden to distribute to the community throughout the summer as they learn about food justice, food security, and organic farming practices.

*Preference will be given to applicants who live in the South Fairbanks neighborhood or have previously attended Hunter Elementary School. Black, Indigenous and people of color are encouraged to apply!

**Preference will be given to those between the ages of 16-24, however, we will consider applications from people outside of that age range.

Program Dates: May 20-August 8, 2024

Work Days: Monday-Thursday from 9am-1pm with breaks as needed. Starting at the end of June, we will go to the Southside Market on Tuesdays from 4-6:30pm to run a farm stand selling garden grown produce.

Graduation Event: Saturday, August 10, 2024

Pay: $15/hr and a weekly veggie share



Position Duties:

    • With guidance, complete garden tasks on time
    • Be on time and reliable (Garden Leaders must attend at least 11/13 weeks in order to officially complete the program)
    • Complete assigned readings to engage in group learning and conversations
    • Independent research on subjects of interest (research will take place both during and outside of scheduled work hours)
    • Work with children in the garden to teach basic farm science education
    • With guidance, manage a tool library for the Southside community
    • Welcome volunteers and community members into the garden (this includes giving small trainings on how to use tools, giving tours, and/or public speaking)


    • Interest in growing fresh food
    • Works well with others
    • Interest in building community through sharing knowledge and skills
    • Enjoys being outside
    • Enjoys working on a team
    • Eager to learn
    • Doesn’t mind getting dirty
    • Ability to get to the garden each day and the Southside Market
    • All applicants must be current Fairbanks residents.

Garden Leaders will need to come prepared each day with:

    • Close-toed and durable shoes that you don't mind getting dirty
    • A hat to keep sun out of your eyes
    • A pair of garden gloves to protect your hands while using tools
    • A rain jacket for rainy days
    • A water bottle to refill throughout the day as needed
If you are interested in applying but have barriers to acquiring anything on this list, we can provide assistance!

Applications for 2024 are closed. Please check back in early 2025 to apply for next summer!

Questions about the program? Contact us at or 907-451-0691.

Your support makes this program possible!
The majority of the support for Community Roots comes from individuals like you! Click here to make a contribution towards the program!