Home > Hunter Park GardenHouse > Youth Service Corps

Now enrolling for Fall/Winter 2017! 

Youth Service Corps is a job and life skills training program for youth ages 11-17. We focus on gardening, cooking, and community service in Lansing. Click here to apply! It is free to join and participate, and youth earn gift cards for their service. To be considered for membership, complete and return a Fall/Winter 2017 registration form here.  Enrollment is limited to 30 youth.

If accepted into the program, youth will receive a confirmation from the Youth Programs Coordinator. If you have questions contact the Youth Programs Coordinator at 517-999-3918 or youthprograms@allenneighborhoodcenter.org.

Youth Service Corps Projects

Projects: Garden-In-A-Box | Edible Park | Park Cart | Fruit Tree Project | More Fun

Garden in a Box

Interested in gardening, but want to start small? Eastside neighbors living within walking distance of Hunter Park are eligible for a FREE Garden-in-a-Box kit complete with soil and vegetable seeds/plants. Youth Service Corps construct the 2ft x 2ft garden boxes, deliver them, and offer garden advice throughout the season. We have 6 boxes to distribute this spring & summer 2017. Apply for a free box soon! Fill out our 2017 Garden-in-a-Box application!


Edible Park 

All food grown in the Edible Park, a designated space in Hunter Park, is free for the public to harvest. Youth plant fruit trees & bushes, maintain a veggie, herb and flower garden, utilize a raised beds, construct signs with maps, and build raspberry trellises, further expanding the edibility of Hunter Park. Youth are involved in all parts of the growing process: seeding, planting, watering, weeding, harvesting, and of course- eating!

We encourage neighbors to come by; they’ll find various veggies, sage, rosemary, thyme, chives,

mint, lavender, oregano, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, currants, and multiple fruit tree varieties. Youth are also welcomed to participate in optional beekeeping sessions, led by our local beekeeping experts at Bee Wise Farms!


Park Cart

Open in the summer, June-August, at Allen Farmers Market, Wednesdays 2:30- 7:00pm.Youth learn business, marketing, culinary & food safety skills by creating food products and running a market stand at Allen Farmers Market! Park Cart is committed to producing low-cost, nutritious, value-added food products created and prepared by Youth Service Corps members in the Allen Market Place commercial kitchen.





Fruit Tree Project

The Fruit Tree Project enables youth to learn fruit tree identification, mapping, planting, sustainable agriculture practices, harvesting techniques, culinary skills, and safe food handling.

Youth map public fruit trees, and neighbors can register their fruit tree(s) to participate in the project (register here). When it is time to harvest, teams of youth and volunteers will set out to harvest the fruit, and the fruit bounty will be divided into thirds between 1) neighbor(s) who own or live near the tree, 2) Allen Neighborhood Center’s weekly food pantry, Bread Basket, and 3) Youth Service Corps program to further youth members’ culinary skills education by utilizing the fruit in healthy snack recipes, made in the Allen Market Place commercial kitchen, and sold at their Park Cart stand in the summer.

This project addresses healthy food access on the Eastside, and will also largely reduce the amount of fruit that goes to waste each year. Through outreach and community involvement, the Fruit Tree Project will bring about awareness of the many fruit trees right in our neighborhood!

Have a Fruit Tree Tip? Want to Register a Fruit tree? Click here! Contact us for more details: 517-999-3913.

More Fun

YSC knows how to have fun too! At each session we play games and share a healthy snack together as we get ready for the day’s agenda. We also take monthly field trips as a reward for community service. Some of the places we’ve visited include the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, Potter Park Zoo, Broad Art Museum, and Uncle John’s Cider Mill.