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Teens Grow Greens Inc. launches $7M project to expand reach in Milwaukee community

​The organization has already raised $4 million for the first phase, which will construct two new greenhouses.
Posted at 6:22 PM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 19:22:59-04

MILWAUKEE — For the past seven years, Teens Grow Greens Incorporated has been using the power of horticulture to provide business, entrepreneurship, and educational opportunities to youth in Milwaukee.

The Teens Grow Greens program had just 10 employees when it first began, and now it has more than 70. This means the non-profit needs more space.

"It's been increasing each year a lot and we just continue to serve more and more," said Julius Gayo, the lead agriculturalist.

That's why they came up with the Green Acre Program, a $7 million project that will build upon and expand their Webers Greenhouse location along Green Bay Avenue. It hopes to create an enhanced learning and teaching environment for the teens and the community they serve.

"I'm excited. The youth are our future, we have to invest in them," said Nalani Moesch, the greenhouse manager.

The organization has already raised $4 million for the first phase, which will construct two new greenhouses.

"​Those greenhouses are really going to allow us to not only grow things year-round, but we can also continue educating about plant care and growing food and such​," said Moesch.​

Now they're working on raising the additional $3 million they need for phase two to also turn the space into an area that will have a cafe, additional classrooms, a kitchen, and more.

"That space is a space that will be open to the community so that they can also use it and then the teens can also lead lessons, learn things in those classrooms​," said Gayo.

Members of the organization say the investment is worth it.

"Having this space in this area, in the Rufus King neighborhood, is kind of the statement to the teens that we work with that we want to invest in you (and) where you are coming from," said Gayo.

Phase one of the Green Acre project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2023. To help donate to the cause, visit Teens Grow Greens' website.

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