Youth Empowerment

We offer year round employment for youth in our community.  We engage high school aged students (ages 14-18) in meaningful work that contributes positively to our community. 

Youth Farm Crews - Spring, Summer, and Fall

We work with City of Kingston youth to grow food, farm, engage in community service, practice wellness skills, and be invested environmental stewards through hands on farming experiences and community involvement. Participants learn culinary skills, visit local farms, participate in community service, and sell their crops to the community at our farm stands. 

Through this employment program, youth practice skills related to sustainable urban farming, as well as customer service and other valuable job readiness skills. The youth farm crew participants also learn about food justice, local food systems, and are positioned to become agents of change within the food system.

Each high school farm crew season will include workshops with experienced professionals in the agriculture field such as local farmers, farm-to-table co-packers, farm market managers, food justice advocates, and/or local chefs.   

Cooking Crew - Winter

During the winter months, November-March, we run cooking crew for area youth.  Cooking crew meets once a week to prepare a meal from scratch.  Youth work together to cook a multi-course meal.  We then sit down and share a meal as a group.  We invite community members and leaders to sit down and break bread with us as well.  Youth participants earn a stipend for their participation. 

B.A.R.K. = Beautifying and Restoring Kingston

 B.A.R.K. participants learn skills related to environmental stewardship and community engagement.   B.A.R.K. works around the City of Kingston cleaning up, painting, planting, and beautifying.  

Examples of B.A.R.K projects:

  • Painting projects at the Hodge Community Center, Van Buren Park, and Uptown Parklet
  • Stenciling Uptown storm drains with RiverKeeper
  • Bioswale Remediation in Uptown
  • Planting Sunflowers and Zinnias at the YMCA and Fuller Building and at Van Buren Park
  • Pollinator Project with Hudson Valley Bee Habitat
  • YMCA Park Planning with KAN Landscape Design
  • Utility Box Project with PUGG/DRAW
  • Weekly Trash Club Kingston trash sweeps
  • Trash Club Kingston's "Trash Talk video".  Watch it here!

If you are a community organization and would like to partner with B.A.R.K., fill out this form. (coming soon)


History of B.A.R.K.

B.A.R.K. came about as a result of the the City of Kingston's participatory budgeting process in the summer and fall of 2018.  The residents of Kingston voted to allocate City funds to the beautification of of the city as well as youth development.  The City of Kingston awarded the Kingston YMCA Farm Project funds to create a youth development and beautification program in 2019.  

To further our commitment to opportunities for youth, we are dedicated to continuing the B.A.R.K. program. 


Youth Design Projects

Information about the Pine Street African Burial Ground Design Project is coming soon.