Global Youth Service Day and Colorado Young Leaders Dig in a Food Desert

Hungry lives matter and Colorado young people care. Everyone; old and young, urban farmers to those who have never picked up a garden trowel, are invited to dig, laugh, share, and meet new friends. How often have we watched others give of their time to make a difference in their community? This is your opportunity. Meet us at the West Colfax Community Garden, Dry Gulch Park, 1100 N. Perry St. Denver, from 10:00AM – 2:00PM on Sunday April 22nd.

CYL High School students looked around their own communities to identify places where an extended hand could impact a life.  The Denver Chapter of Colorado Young Leaders recognized the lack of fresh, homegrown produce in the Denver urban food desert. Sierra Karas, CYL student shared her perspective, “Food justice and food deserts are a big and complex problem to solve. The students of CYL Denver Chapter narrowed in on what could be done in one day that would help. We went from wanting to start our own community garden to trying to strengthen one that is already established. By joining D.U.G. (Denver Urban Gardens, our team and volunteers can strengthen and inform about a viable resource already available in the Denver urban community.” CYL joins D.U.G. in their mission that to make lasting change, community participants need to drive it.

Manda Wittebort, Summit Leader for the CYL Denver Chapter, continues to be awed by the voice, the drive, and the results that these young leaders possess and bring to others. “This day will give everyone, whether CYL members, community leaders, or interested volunteers, an opportunity to rework the conversation about community gardens and the people who ultimately benefit.”

“Come for the whole time, or just an hour.  Your presence, energy, and participation can make a difference whether putting lunches together, assembling supplies, or working in the garden. There will be jobs for everyone and lots of joy all around.”

Colorado Young Leaders, CYL, is divided into 5 chapters across the front range. The Denver chapter is comprised of students from several local high schools as well as others who have chosen home schooling or online school. Each student is encouraged to find their passion and make time for service through community leadership.  Manda offered, “The Global Youth Service Day Project has highlighted these students’ individual interests in the unique components of the process required to making an event like this become a reality. Each CYL student is cognizant of how their individual contribution will impact and support the community served.” Join us to FEED, DIG, and LEARN on Sunday, April 22nd at the West Colfax Community Garden.

More information about this and other GYSD and CYL projects can be found on the CYL website: www.