Skip to Main Content

Urban Agriculture Program

UMass Lowell's Office of Sustainability partners with Mill City Grows, a Lowell-based urban food access nonprofit, to develop a robust Urban Agriculture Program.

Buy Local- Support UMass Lowell Logo
This new and innovative program and partnership between UMass Lowell and Mill City Grows began in October 2016. There are currently four pieces that make up the Urban Agriculture Program:

UMass Lowell's Office of Sustainability worked directly with Mill City Grows to secure over $150,000 in grant funding to initially support this program. 

Mill City Grows logo. Mill City Grows (MCG) improves physical health, economic independence and environmental sustainability in Lowell through increased access to land, locally-grown food and education. Photo by Mill City Grows

Combined with significant investment from the university, we have developed a program that fosters food justice in Lowell by improving physical health, economic independence and environmental sustainability through increased access to land, locally-grown food and education. 

Students and Mill City Grows Employees Working Side-by-Side at East Campus Greenhouse Photo by Mill City Grows
Students and Mill City Grows Employees at East Campus Greenhouse

Effective community engagement is intrinsic to the pursuit of urban sustainability. We believe our Urban Agriculture Program with Mill City Grows is both unique and innovative. By combining the university's facilities & academic expertise with a local organization that is focused on food access and justice, we are affecting real world change and sustainability in a diverse and evolving city. Our partnership is relatable and transferable to Association of College Unions International (ACUI) members committed to similar sustainability goals in the urban setting.

This community partnership is unique in that it provides services to both the university and also to residents of the City of Lowell in an innovative and engaging setting. Community engagement focused on food access and justice is particularly important in Lowell. The majority of neighborhoods in the city are classified as low income with low food access by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Community members, students, faculty and staff all work together at each of these sites, sharing knowledge and growing friendship while growing healthy produce in the process!