Gardening Educator, Americorps Member

Established in 1999, Allen Neighborhood Center (ANC) is a hub for neighborhood revitalization and for activities that promote the health, safety, stability, and economic well-being of residents and other stakeholders in the northeast quadrant of Lansing, MI. ANC’s work in “comprehensive and integrative community development” has resulted in signature projects, such as the Hunter Park GardenHouse. This program and many others have emerged from ANC’s frequent and inclusive neighborhood forums, designed to address emerging issues, including food security and food access, and ensure the development of pioneering, resident-driven strategies for community improvement.

Member Activities This member will serve as the Gardening Educator of the Hunter Park GardenHouse/Urban Farming Program. Specific duties include:

  • Collaborate with the GardenHouse Director to develop and promote a robust gardening program throughout the Eastside (link neighbors to resources, assist with planning, promoting, and facilitating of garden education offerings including home garden visits, workshops, and Urban Gardener Certification Program.
  • Collaborate with Youth Programs Coordinator to develop, promote, and facilitate Youth Service Corps program for 11-17 year olds. Specific youth projects include: Garden-in-a-Box, Edible Park, and Fruit Tree Project.  Provide guide-by-the-side instruction/mentoring to GardenHouse volunteers and visitors during GardenHouse open hours.
  • Thoroughly document the effectiveness and impact of GardenHouse programs through dot and paper surveys (# served, % increase in consumption of fruits and vegetables, etc.)

Minimum Qualifications

  • Commitment to serve 1700 hours from October 14, 2014- September 18, 2015.
  • High school degree, GED certificate or agree to achieve GED within the year
  • Minimum of 18 year of age, US citizen or permanent resident status
  • Desire and ability to engage with a diverse group of people, particularly those living in low-income distressed neighborhoods  Ability to function independently and in a team environment
  • 1+ years’ experience in urban gardening/farming (seedling care, soil, compost, pest & disease control)  Computer skills, Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Flexible availability required (some night and weekends)

Member Benefits A full time AmeriCorps member is expected to serve 1700 hours from October 14, 2014 – September 18, 2015. Full time AmeriCorps members receive training, a living allowance of $12,100, an educational award of $5,645 after completing the service term, and loan forbearance for qualified student loans. Full time members receive health insurance. Members attend a mandatory orientation when service begins, and are invited to attend monthly trainings and meetings by the Power of We Consortium. Allen Neighborhood Center will also make additional training opportunities available.

Cover letter and resume due Friday, August 22 (deadline extended).                   Please send submissions to Rita O’Brien and Isaias Solis:

Rita O’Brien, Hunter Park GardenHouse Director                                                 Allen Neighborhood Center                                                                                1619 E. Kalamazoo St                                                                                    Lansing, MI 48912                                                                                            517-999-3910;

Isaias Solis, Coordinator Power of We Consortium                                               Power of We Constorium                                                                                         5303 S. Cedar St                                                                                                   Lansing, MI 48911                                                               

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Announcing Allen Market Place’s Fall 2014 Food and Farming Workshop Series!

Please help us spread the word about this new workshop series. All programs are free, and targeted at farm or food-related businesses.

Workshops will be held at:

Allen Market Place, 1629 E. Kalamazoo St. Lansing, MI 48912

And, are broken into two different styles:

Wednesdays from 1-1:30 PM: 20-30 minute “flash trainings” that provide an in-depth look at a single topic, conveniently timed to fit busy producer’s schedules and coincide with the Allen Street Farmers Market.

Fridays from 1-3 PM: More conventional workshops covering a range of topics around improving food safety and business practices for farmers, food producers, or those interested in starting new food businesses.

For questions, or to RSVP to any workshop contact Exchange Manager Neal Valley at:

517.999.3923 |


Wednesday 7/9 – 1-1:30 PM – Resources for Building and Sustaining a Small Business by Kristine Ranger, Educator at Knowledge Navigators

Wednesday 7/16 – 1-1:30 PM – On Farm Food Safety – Hazard Analysis by Phil Tocco, MSU Extension Educator and Food Safety guru for Jackson County

Friday, 7/25 – 1-3 PM – Starting a (Food) Business by Tom Donaldson, Regional Director for the Michigan Small Business Development Center


Wednesday, 8/13 – 1-1:30 PM – What Resources Can Conservation Districts Offer Small and Diversified Farmers? by Jen Silveri MEAEP Technician for Eaton County Conservation District

Friday, 8/29 – 1-3 PM – Calculating Production Costs to Determine Return on Investment by Kristine Ranger


Wednesday 9/3 – 1-1:30 PM – Food Safety – Traceability by Phil Tocco

Wednesday 9/24 – 1-1:30 PM – Interactive Activity – Human Resource Skills: An Introduction to Self-Awareness and Effectively Managing Others by Kristine Ranger

Friday 9/26 – 1-3 PM – Pathways to Product Development: Resources Available from MSU’s Product Center by Diane Smith, Innovation Counselor at MSU Product Center


Wednesday 10/1 – 1-1:30 PM – Food Safety: Water Quality by Phil Tocco

Friday 10/31 – 1:00-3:00 PM – MEAEP Certification and Safe*Crop*A*Syst: Free Resources for Farm, Food, and Environmental Safety by Jen Silveri


Friday 11/14 – 1-3 PM – Marketing Your Business by Laurie Lonsdorf, Senior Business Consultant at Michigan Small Business Development Center


Friday 12/12 – 1-3 PM – Analyzing the Competition: Where Do You Fit in the Marketplace? by Kristine Ranger

Workshops are presented by Allen Neighborhood Center, and were made possible by the generous support of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development ( and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) (

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This Week at the Allen Street Farmers Market!

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This Week at Allen Street Farmers Market!

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This Week at Allen Street Farmers Market!

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This Week at the Allen Street Farmers Market!

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This Week at Allen Street Farmers Market!

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This Week at the Allen Street Farmers Market!

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