Lands of Opportunity
Growing Colorado Kids gives refugee youth a place to learn and belong, and a garden to grow.
Growing Colorado Kids, led by local lioness Denise Lines affords refugees in Denver’s neighborhoods that chance to seize the opportunities alluded to in one of our nation’s most notable claims. Lines, who worked at Mercy Housing, discovered that some refugees living near her were struggling to even put food on the table. It started simple, a group gardening and cooking activity, Denise and the kids. But over time, Growing Colorado Kids blossomed into something spectacular. GCK’s youth members, all refugees from Africa and Burma, set their own schedule, make their own rules, and manage the gardens all by themselves. They select their leaders, vote on changes to the way they do things, and learn self-reliance. Most of all, they become part of the community, as Denise, and other GCK mentors guide the youth to relationships with neighbors and businesses, including Brad and Libby Birky of SAME Cafe. GCK provides it’s youthful, driven, amazing members with a home, not just four walls and roof, but a place where they know their neighbors, their neighbors know them, and a place where they belong.
Their mission: To reduce hunger, improve nutrition, and provide experiential learning opportunities for refugee youth through organic farming.