Urban Roots sponsors workshop “Garden Heroes and Villains.”

unnamedUrban Roots Community Farm, Market, and Education Center
1316 Madison Ave SE Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Thursday July 13th 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Come be a kid with us! Have fun with Urban Roots exploring the farm with magnifying glasses and learning all about the heroes and villains of the garden. Even if you don’t have a garden, you will love this class! Urban Roots’ workshops are fun, down to earth, and a great way to check out it sotherprograms. This class is VERY kid and family friendly.

The workshop is free, though Urban Roots does appreciate donations to help defray costs.

Kalamazoo: Annual Black Arts Festival: UNITY THROUGH CULTURE

saveTHEdate2k17 [WEB] (2)The Black Arts & Cultural Center of Kalamazoo has offered our city intentional and culturally relevant festivals for the past 31 summers. Filled with fun for the entire family, vendors, entertainment and a focus on black arts and culture, the Black Arts Festival is a wonderful way to unite the people of Kalamazoo in order to enhance the community and radiate positivity. To continue the tradition of offering a multitude of activities for guests of all ages, this year’s festival will include a youth day, a unity call to action by local clergy, the kick off of Face Off Theatre Company’s third season and a focus on using culture to promote unity. Starting July 13, we invite the Kalamazoo community and beyond to join us for four days of exposure to black arts and culture.

“There is no better time than the present to advocate for unity through culture.” says Yolonda Lavender, Executive Director, Black Arts & Cultural Center. Lavender goes on to say, “In light of the climate of our nation, BACC is proud to provide an opportunity for all people from all walks of life and cultures to unite.”

The first festival in 1986 and was orchestrated by Gail Sydnor, Lois Jackson and James C. Palmore. Later in order to keep black arts and culture in the forefront, the Black Arts and Cultural Committee was created the same year changing its name to ‘Center’ in 1990. Since its founding, the Black Arts Festival has maintained its legacy of showcasing the unique aspects of Black arts and culture. This year’s festival will represent the work of the Black Arts & Cultural Center and its commitment to continue uniting the Kalamazoo community for years to come.






July 13th

Youth Day-11am-3pm- Bible Baptist Church 1700 N. Drake Rd.  Kalamazoo, MI 49006- ages 7-17, FREE FOOD, games and more! FREE ADMISSION!

Face Off Theatre Company Production of “In the Blood”-7:30pm- Epic Center 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Kalamazoo, MI 49007 – Ticket prices: $8 (groups of 8), $10 (BACC Members), $15 (students/ seniors), $20 (general)

July 14th

Face Off Theatre Company Production of “In the Blood”-7:30pm- Epic Center 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Kalamazoo, MI 49007 – Ticket prices: $8 (groups of 8), $10 (BACC Members), $15 (students/ seniors), $20 (general)

July 15th

Unity Through Culture Weekend-11am-8pm- La Crone Park 535 W. Paterson St. Kalamazoo, MI 49007- Vendors-Food-Live Entertainment-Kids Activities-African Drum & Dance Tent and More! FREE ADMISSION!

Summer Black Party-9pm-1:30am- Rootead 1501 Fulford St. Kalamazoo ,MI 49001 Sounds by DJ Conscious -$10 admission-21+

July 16th

Unity Through Culture Weekend-11am-6pm- La Crone Park 535 W. Paterson St. Kalamazoo, MI 49007- Vendors-Food-Live Entertainment-Kids Activities-African Drum & Dance Tent and More! FREE ADMISSION!


Visit or contact BACC at or 269-349-1035 for more information. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram- @blackartskzoo

Food Justice class: Mapping the Food System


The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is one of the healthier locations on GR’s southeast side food map! Saturdays 11 a.m. to 4p.m. at MLK Jr. Park.

Mapping the Food System
Monday July 106—8 p.m.
Baxter Community Center
935 Baxter SE 49506
(entrance on Bemis)
Sponsored by OKT &
Baxter Community Center

Whether you are a parent, grandparent or live alone, if you want to discover better ways to stretch your food dollar and improve your diet, this workshop is for you. Join OKT and Baxter Community Center as we work together to create food maps for our neighborhoods. What is a food map? It is a map listing all the options for accessing food where you live. After identifying these locations, we will talk about (1) the nutritional quality of the food available and (2) how we can get more nutrients into our diets using the resources that we have: food assistance dollars, gardens, foraging, pantries, farmers’ markets, buying clubs and retail establishments.

We’ll also talk about food justice, food security, food apartheid and food literacy! In OKT also welcomes those who work on issues of hunger, under-nutrition and food justice to join this important conversation.

GRFD Residential Safety Program at Southeast Area Farmers’ Market Saturday July 8

free-smoke-alarmsSoutheast Area Farmers’ Market
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays
MLK Jr. Park
900 Fuller Ave. SE
We warmly welcome SNAP, Bridge Cards, WIC  and Doube Up Food Bucks!


The Residential Safety Program, or RSP, is a voluntary solution to help homeowners prevent fires. The RSP is designed to reduce the number and severity of fires in Grand Rapids. The GRFD and our partners are offering the following:

  • Free in home fire safety assessments
  • Free smoke alarm upgrades and installations
  • One-on-one fire safety consultations specific to the residence
  • A connection with our partners to assist with fire safety issues

PSA Video                                                      Spanish PSA Video

The RSP is starting with focus to help five neighborhoods in Grand Rapids that have historically had the highest number of fires. To qualify for the program, homeowners must meet the following requirements:

  • Reside within the City of Grand Rapids
  • Be a home owner, residing within the dwelling.
  • Rentals do not qualify at this time.

Homeowners can ensure their safety by scheduling an appointment. Contact us at 311
Also view our Media Reports and Video page for more information on this Program and other Fire Safety Information!​


Free Urban Foraging Workshop at Farmers’ Market Saturday


0912151148Urban Foraging
Noon to 2 p.m. Sat. July 8
Southeast Area Farmers’ Market
MLK Jr. Park, 900 Fuller SE 49506

Did you know that many of the native species we see around us (and label as weeds) once were a prize source of both food and medicine? On Saturday July 8, Our Kitchen Table’s urban forester, Laura Casaletto, will lead an Urban Foraging Workshop at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market. Ms. Casaletto will share how to identify the edible plants growing in your Grand Rapids neighborhoods. She has been using foraging as a means to supplement her family’s food budget for many years.


The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market warmly welcomes patrons using Bridge cards (SNAP), Double Up Food Bucks,WIC Project Fresh, Cash Value Benefits, Summer EBT and debit cards. If you make a purchase with a Bridge Card, you get $1 for every $1 you spend to buy more Michigan produce (up to $20 each visit).


Learn to Save Seeds from Your Food Garden

seedHow to Save Seeds, Monday June 26 , 6 to 8 p.m.
Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids 49507. Free!


Did you know that when you grow organic or heirloom varieties in your food garden, you can save the seeds to start new plants the next growing season? In addition to growing your garden budget, growing from saved seeds ensures a produce yield that is more nutritious and tastier.

Also, from a food justice perspective, saving seeds is activism for promoting seed freedom, food sovereignty and standing with Mother Earth and the environment.

Come and learn exactly how to save seeds from all different types of food plants — and help build an alternative to the failing industrial food complex. OKT also has a free hand-out on seed-saving. Download it here.