A community farm in Dunbar is helping educate local children outside the classroom

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

A Southwest Florida farm is helping kids who lack resources outside of school learn about the environment. The Urban Community Farm in Dunbar strives to keep kids learning during the hours they aren’t in the classroom.

The farm is owned by the CEO of the “I Will” Mentor Foundation. The Urban Community Farm is a place for everyone to learn about the environment, water conservation, healthy eating, and how to grow your own produce, but education does not just happen inside the farm. It starts at the entrance.

Driving along Flint Drive off of Martin Luther King Boulevard in Fort Myers, you might see some familiar faces, Oprah, Kamala Harris, even Johnny Streets. “The wall mural we use it to encourage self-esteem and also to build history, and for youth to understand where they came from so they can understand the future and where they need to go,” said Dr. Jesse Bryson, Founder and CEO of “I Will” Mentor Foundation. Doctor Bryson believes kids must understand the past to better their future.

The “I Will” Mentorship Foundation is a nonprofit that gives kids hands-on learning opportunities in the environment, science, technology, engineering and math, or ESTEM.

Behind the murals, Bryson built the Urban Community Farm. A place where kids and anyone else can come to learn about healthy foods. “We want to be able to teach them how to grow it. Give them a place to grow it, and also have them continue to eat healthy and hopefully change a lot of diseases that are really associated with low-income families,” said Bryson.

From collard greens to cabbage, Tomatoes, kale and more, Doctor Bryson wants his fresh food not just to keep people healthy but also to bring his community together in a place and around faces that inspire them.

“We can work together, little steps, one vegetable at a time to change the community, to change relationships, to build relationships, and also be able to eat and enjoy each other,” Bryson said.

The community farm is not just educating people and bringing them together, it’s also helping to feed people.

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