NEighborhood Spotlight: Spark-Y

Get to know your Northeast neighbors.

Meet Spark-Y, a nonprofit organization that empowers youth with hands-on education rooted in entrepreneurship and sustainability.

Spark-Y integrates sustainable projects into classrooms, schools and elective programs providing experiential education for 1,900 youth throughout the Twin Cities each year. Their model pairs hands-on agriculture systems such as aquaponics with curriculum focused on sustainability, entrepreneurship and STEM-based (science, technology, engineering and math) learning.

Spark-Y students, interns and partners bring to life the greenest school campuses in Minnesota, developing and implementing commercial-scale sustainable projects throughout the Twin Cities, and passing on the seeds of environmentally-minded ideation to the next generation of empowered youth.

In 2018, Spark-Y moved into their new space in the Casket Arts Building in Northeast Minneapolis. The Kirk K. Marschel Urban Agriculture Lab is a commercial-scale, timber-frame aquaponics system and learning lab with over 1,300 square feet of indoor growing space. Did You Know? Aquaponics uses 90% less water than traditional agriculture! The Urban Ag Lab sells sustainable, youth-grown produce and microgreens to support their mission of youth empowerment. Look for Spark-Y microgreens in the Eastside Produce department.

This year Eastside is proud to feature flowers, herbs and vegetable seedlings grown by Spark-Y youth in our annual plant sale. Shop the sale May 10 to May 23, while supplies last, and get your garden summer-ready!