Who Is UGW?
Roger Horne graduated from Cornell University and has Masters in Health Administration and Public Health from The Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has been an IFAS-certified Master Gardener, since 2011 and has served as the naturalist at the Green Urban Living Center (GULC) on Miami-Dade College’s North Campus. He is a member of the Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade, where he serves on two committees; and serves on the Board of the Urban Environmental League of Greater Miami.
He is currently the Director of Community Health Initiatives for Urban GreenWorks, where he looks at the public health impact of food insecurity on community, individual, environmental, and economic health. His work brings foodscapes, green spaces and other environmental education, health and wellness initiatives to youth and adults throughout south Florida.
As part of his work with Urban GreenWorks (UGW), Roger has been the driving force behind their Community Food Security Initiative, bringing the first Urban Farm model to Liberty City, a USDA identified “food desert” and creating Hammocks in Da Hood - restoring the native ecoscape of neglected inner-city open spaces. His newest effort "pollinator pathways" looks to support ecosystem restoration throughout Miami-Dade.
He helped established the first Farmers Market in Liberty City & Opa locka, and his work with Miami’s Food Policy Council prompted him to spear-head efforts to establish City guidelines and permitting for community-owned markets, community gardens and urban agriculture.
Roger developed a major partnership with Habitat for Humanity, creating residential edible gardens in backyards throughout Liberty City. He has worked to create partnerships with Barry University & other local Universities to implement more research-based studies of UGW projects and their relevance to community, individual, and global health & wellness. He is currently working with Barry and other community partners to integrate the Whole Measures for Community Food Systems tools into his work with UGW, so that we (collaboratively) can "look beyond our specific missions and think in terms of the broadest possible picture for a healthy community".
Prior to his current work in the field of community, public health, Roger worked as a healthcare administrator, consultant and project analyst for hospitals, community health centers, FL prison system, private physicians and health insurers.
Urban Farm Manager
Anita, a mother of three, relocated to Miami, Florida after many years of struggling with drug addiction in New Jersey. After graduating from the Agape/UGW Mustard Seed Project, a nationally recognized Horticultural Therapy Program, established in Miami by UGW, Anita interned at Cerasee Farm. There she learned how to manage an urban farm in a challenging, under-served neighborhood.
Today, Anita is employed by Urban GreenWorks, as the Cerasee Farm manager. The community-based food security project is where Anita truly shines. She engages residents, supervises workshops and site tours, conducts hands-on activities, and establishes outreach opportunities within the community. She works with disabled veterans, the elderly, individuals on probation and students of all ages.
Anita's also specializes in working with abused and victimized women, and uses horticultural therapy as a way of impacting individual lives while building community health through food security. "She is a fighter, who knows how to manage her battles and has a unique way of relating to and conveying that message to others in need."
School Garden Manager
George Woods runs our "Food for Thought" gardens and aquaponics systems in Liberty City. He is also our expert tree planter and garden installer. George grew up in Liberty City and is well versed in the issues facing Urban Food Desert neighborhoods.Through his personal journey to live a healthier life, he has become our resident expert in the benefits of eating from the garden. He readily dispenses knowledge about the medicinal and nutritional values of our food forest plants to students at participating schools, to teachers at those schools, and to visitors from the community. To reach a wider audience, and become even more effective at fighting the health issues plaguing low-income neighborhoods, George is writing a book - " Eating Healthy in Da Hood." This includes recipes and affordable approaches to an organic plant-based diet and will help families make the transition from fast-food to better diets, better health and healthier communities. As George says, "People can eat well even if they can't afford "Whole Food" prices.