Empowering Local Youth
As a community-powered public park and urban river garden, Bartram's Garden is committed to uplifting and empowering local youth. Each season, The Sankofa Community Farm and the Denkyem River Guardians hire local high school students to support the health of the land and river. Students go on to serve as ambassadors for the Garden, sharing lessons about environmental justice, food sovereignty, community organizing, and urban ecosystems.
Denkyem* River Guardians Internship:
In addition to learning about the Schuylkill watershed, urban ecosystems, and river safety, interns study community organizing, environmental justice, community-driven research, and data collection. This year's community boathouse internship kits will include supplies for:
- Watershed mapping projects;
- Collectively built fish habitat;
- Oral history interview project reflecting on cultural experiences and water;
- Rowboat design and model project.
*Denkyem (pronounced dain-chem) is the Adinkra symbol for crocodile, which represents adaptability and flexibility.
Sankofa* Community Farm Internship:
Interns study urban farming and food sovereignty while focusing on skills like mentorship and community organizing. Interns also manage cooking workshops, farm stand sales, and gardening support for local families, allowing them to share their knowledge and assert creativity and expertise with peers. This year's Sankofa Community Farm internship kits will include supplies for:
- Cultural cooking demonstrations;
- Home gardening beds & containers;
- Herbal remedy workshops;
- At-home literacy lessons;
- Creation station basic art and carpentry projects.
*The concept of Sankofa is derived from King Adinkera of the Akan people of West Africa. Literally translated, Sankofa means, "It is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot." Sankofa teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward.