project leader
Cindy C
2791 W 52nd Ave
(Chaffee Park neighborhood)
latest update rss
Greenhouse Warming A Tremendous Success!

the project

Groundwork Greens is a unique social enterprise greenhouse that will provide meaningful job training to low-income Denver youth while producing 10,000 pounds of food per year. Groundwork Greens will provide healthy food for low-income families as well as veggies for local neighbors and businesses. Our 1,800 square foot greenhouse has just been built and is almost ready to go. With your help, we will raise the final dollars we need to buy the last pieces of equipment, get the plants growing, the job training started, and the social enterprise off the ground!


Youth employed at Groundwork Greens will be trained in hydroponic growing systems, food distribution, and marketing. Our youth come from neighborhoods where unemployment rates are 2 or 3 times higher than Denver as a whole. Groundwork Greens will provide these youth with the opportunity to learn important skills for a lifetime of self-sufficiency. At the same time, Groundwork Greens will help meet the need for fresh, local produce for “food desert” neighborhoods in Denver.


Located within the Aria Denver community at West 52nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard, Groundwork Greens will be part of Cultivate Health, a collaborative effort to help support the health and wellness of residents living in the food desert neighborhoods in northwest Denver and Adams County. 

the steps

With your donations, we will purchase and install the last pieces of equipment we need and hire a Greenhouse Manager to get the plants growing, the training started, and the social enterprise off the ground.


With the hydroponic systems in place, our youth will plant our first seeds to be ready for harvest 10 weeks later. With our greenhouse's year-round growing seasons, we can't wait to share our harvest with our neighbors this winter!

why we're doing it

Did you know that less than 1% of the food consumed in Denver is produced within Colorado? At the same time, one out of eight Denver families is “food insecure,” meaning that they don’t have adequate access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Groundwork Greens will demonstrate a social enterprise solution that sells greens to local restaurants, groceries, and families that can afford full price in order to provide very affordable produce to food insecure families.


Traditional food production has a huge environmental footprint. Heavy use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in industrial agriculture results in air and water pollution and damage to many native plant and animal species. Much of our food is transported great distances, consuming fossil fuels and producing huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Groundwork Greens will grow food using hydroponic, soil-free systems. Hydroponic systems recycle water, resulting in 70% less water use than traditional farming. Hydroponic greenhouse growing also takes up less land per pound of vegetables produced and doesn’t require toxic pesticides. Our food will be sold locally, using bicycle delivery whenever possible.


Disbursement Budget:

Same as original budget noted below. The additional $554.56 raised will go towards the purchase of our growing systems for lettuce and other leafy greens.

RAISED = $11,895.00
 less ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $345.44
TOTAL TO DISBURSE = $11,514.56


Original Budget:

Growing Systems for herbs and microgreens 5500

Refrigerator 950

Propagation tables 600

Growing supplies for first six months 3910

Subtotal 10,960

SUBTOTAL = $10,960
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $329
TOTAL TO RAISE = $11,324



Greenhouse Warming A Tremendous Success!

Thank you to everyone who attended Saturday's Groundwork Greens Greenhouse Warming party!

Thanks to our generous donors, we raised over $8,000 at the event!

To see pictures of the event, click here to see our album on Facebook. 

Weren't able to join us? You can still donate to Groundwork Greens here 

Thanks to our sponsors, supporters, and participating chefs and restaurants: 

Aria Denver
Italco Food Products 

Rebound Solutions 

Group14 Engineering 


Leprino Foods
Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel
Marycrest Assisted Living 

Serendipity Catering 


Backyard Soda Co. 

Dubbel Dutch 

James Okerson 

The Preservery 

Stir Cooking School 

Cafe Bon Appetit

 And thank you to Dr. James Rouse for his inspiring motivation to get our hands in the dirt!


Join us for our Greenhouse Warming on September 19th!

Saturday, September 19th

Outside at the Greenhouse

West 52nd Avenue and Eliot Street, Denver 80221

11:30 am to 1:00 pm
Special Guest Speaker Dr. James Rouse
High Performance Lifestyle and Leadership Expert
Cooking Demos and Tastings from Renowned Chefs and Local Restaurants
Elise Wiggins, Executive Chef - Panzano
Obe and Whitney Ariss - The Preservery
James Okerson, Executive Pastry Chef - CU Boulder
Italco Food Products
Stir Cooking School
Dubble Dutch
Backyard Soda Co.
And more
Reserve your tickets today! RSVP HERE

Special VIP Tickets for a small group tour and meeting with Dr. James Rouse are available.


Message to our donors!

Thanks to all of our incredibly generous donors, we made our goal!

Within 10 days from our public launch, we raised more than 100% of our goal! Our challenge match on Wednesday, August 5th was met in an hour and a half, and our anonymous donor agreed to donate another $500 on Thursday morning. That match was made in a blink of an eye!

What's next: We are busy ordering our growing systems and supplies with the goal of planting by September. Your donations ensure that we have the growing supplies needed for our first six months of operations. After that, we plan to be self-sufficient, with the income generated from our veggies supporting the future expenses of the greenhouse, including paying our youth to manage the business.

Any funds above and beyond our goal will offset the expenses of a Greenhouse Manager, the  final expense of our start-up. We will gladly continue to accept donations for this important piece of our social enterprise.

What you can do next: Join us in celebrating our success at our Greenhouse Warming on Saturday, September 19, 11:30am – 1:00pm (VIP 10:30am – 11:30am). Check back in the next couple days for more details and to RSVP!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Janet and Doug Vilsack
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