Partnering with North Community High School (North High) & Step Up

Project Sweetie Pie is a partner at North Community High School (Minneapolis School District, Special School District #1) including supporting North’s Youth Café.

Step Up brings together Minneapolis young people (ages 14-21) with Twin Cities employers through internships and training that build careers and lead to a diverse, skilled and equitable workforce. Since 2003, Step Up has created over 29,000 high-quality internship opportunities.

Growing North Minneapolis

Growing North Minneapolis is a community-driven collaboration with the University of Minnesota, which focuses on youth and their communities. Through intergenerational mentorship and urban agriculture, we advance environmental, social, and racial justice in North Minneapolis.

Northside Safety N.E.T.

The Northside Safety-N.E.T. (Neighborhoods Empowering Teens) is a collaborative and systems-change approach to addressing disparate environmental impacts and empowering communities of color in North Minneapolis. The partners in this collaborative will leverage their existing resources and expertise to develop and implement training for a cohort of youth (ages 16-24) around participatory action research, civic engagement from an environmental justice lens, community service, environmental stewardship, leadership, life skills training and workforce development. Read more about the objectives at the link above.

Climates of Inequality: An Installation at the Bell Museum

This coalition of students, educators, and community leaders produces projects on urgent social issues. This exhibition was developed in cities across the US and around the world, including the Twin Cities. It focuses on storytelling and the experience of communities that bear the greatest impact from environmental degradation while contributing the least to it. Students and faculty at the University of Minnesota have contributed to the project over several semesters (closes May 16th, 2021).

The Family of Trees (

The Family of Trees if a hyper-localized Northside Minneapolis tree-planting project that exists to regenerate our urban forests. We exist to eliminate environmental injustices between our local Minneapolis communities that have direct impacts on health. We exist to demonstrate and facilitate commitment to reducing global warming by taking action and changing behaviors.

​Taking action to heal the planet directly from our backyards to the local community gardens, we are embarking on a massive reforestation project by creating more urban forest canopies in Minneapolis that have been drastically reduced within the last century


JUICE is the Juneteenth Urban Initiative for Creating Economic Empowerment, a youth entrepreneurship project in development.

Rites of the Mississippi

Community Gardens

Project Sweetie Pie seeds healthy changes through its urban agriculture farms, community gardens and expanding cluster of associated food and entrepreneurship programs and organizations so that one day more than 500+ people will work in a neighborhood agricultural business and walk home to make a nutritious dinner.

Currently, there are more than 20 urban garden sites. Produce from these sites are sold at farmer’s markets or shared with community members. More than 2,000 sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, lettuce, kale, pumpkins and peppers have been planted as part of Project Sweetie Pie.

Food, Environmental, and Racial Justice Asset Maps of Minneapolis

In collaboration with community partners, (hosting part of the U), and a capstone team from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Project Sweetie Pie has spearheaded an effort to keep track of all the assets that Minneapolis has for working towards a just food system for all.

To see a full, interactive view of our garden sites as well as maps of community assets, click here.

Celestial Gardens/Shared Fruit – in process

The Celestial Garden/Shared Fruit Initiative located at 2210 Emerson Avenue North can become our arboretum of the north. It is being used to demonstrate restoration of the commons, act as a living classroom, and be a permaculture showroom that demonstrates how we honor the earth, water, and our ancestors. Access to the land has been secured and some trees have been planted with more on the way. This project combines urban policy, planning, forestry, and farming-by-design while propagating equity and inclusion. As it develops, it is a model of co-creation/co-design from the grassroots up.

Stories from the Gardens

In the Works

These projects are still growing, we can’t wait to watch them bloom!

Low Hanging Fruit

“Low Hanging Fruit”, a videography story telling project, will document heroes and sheroes of the food justice movement, serving as the bridge between two initiatives spawned in collaboration with Project Sweetie Pie and a wide array of community and university stakeholders: including members of the “Shared Fruit: Co-Creating a Food Forest at the Celestial Garden” and “Food for Thought” a Northside mural project.

The Nile of the North

The “Nile of the North” is a concept for a web portal, story map, and phone app to create a virtual marketplace in which stakeholders in the local food system can meet, exchange information, and build community.


Michael Chaney

(763) 227-4881