Loveland Youth Gardeners

A nonprofit organization

Loveland Youth Gardeners (LYG) is a place where youth can belong, connect, learn, and build new skills and interests. We serve youth ages 3 - 21 from across Northern Colorado with horticultural therapy, environmental education, skill-building, and more on our urban farm. Your support helps us empower more young people and provide them with access to valuable time in nature. Thank you to our community of supporters who help make this work possible! 

Our Farm

LYG operates a 0.6 acre urban farm in southeast Loveland. Our farm features raised garden beds, wheelchair accessible beds, chickens, beehives, native plants demonstration gardens, medicinal and culinary herb gardens, composting (including vermicompost), fruit trees, a bog garden, solar panel pergola, and more. 

We call our farm the Good Enough Farm, because when you're with us, you are good enough, exactly as you are. The farm provides a supportive space where youth can engage directly with the environment by tending to their plants, caring for our animals, and exploring the natural world around them. Our youth are directly involved in every aspect of the farm. This includes planting, watering, weeding, composting, caring for our chickens and bees, completing construction projects and farm improvements, and more. Youth have the opportunity for hands on skill-building (and confidence-building!) in a wide variety of areas, and they feel a sense of pride and ownership of the farm. 

Our farm produces fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, honey, and flowers. The majority of food we grow is donated to address hunger and food insecurity locally. In 2022, we donated nearly 4,000 pounds of fresh, locally grown food to our neighbors experiencing food insecurity. We use all organic practices on our farm, with no pesticides or chemicals.

Our Programs 

LEAD: Vocational horticultural therapy and leadership program for youth ages 13 - 20

Green Adventures: Outdoor and environmental learning program for youth ages 3 - 12

Repair to Grow: Horticultural therapy and community engagement program for youth in partner agencies and schools in Larimer County

Cultivating Community: Our way of giving back through donations of fresh produce, downtown beautification, service days, and more


"There is nothing better than walking into the garden every morning and having someone say good morning to you. I have never had folks excited to see me every day." - LYG Student

"I could have never imagined the impact that the program and your volunteers would have had on my son. He learned more working with you this summer than he could have learned in an entire year of school. The biggest impact, however, were the life skills he learned and continues to learn. I want everyone there to know the impact they had on him and our family. We are forever grateful." - Parent of LYG Student 

"The farm is a place where you can forget about all of the pressures of the outside world and just be yourself for a while, and be with people who really care about you." - LYG Student 

"What makes LYG such a joy is meeting & working with the students. Being there to watch them plan & plant a garden, care for it, and learn about soil & cultivation science is really beneficial to them as well as the community they share their harvest with, and the volunteers who encourage them through the summer. To see their smiles, earned confidence & pride in these young adults as their efforts bear fruit & veggies is very worthwhile. Their accomplishments are truly amazing!" - LYG Volunteer

"I never surrounded myself with people that are good for me until I joined this program. I made real friends with kids my own age that have a positive effect on my life." - LYG Student

"LYG is magical. The kids come for the gardening and grow as exponentially as humans under the care and guidance of LYG staff and volunteers. Part of the magic is that the program staff meet each person where they are at. Our 14 year old son really struggles with interacting with new folks his age and adjusting to new expectations. The growth we’ve seen over the course of the summer has been exceptional and has help set him up for further growth during the school year. Thank you LYG." - Parent of LYG Student

"After attending Loveland Youth Gardeners, I'm more confident about myself now. It's changed me a lot. I was a quiet kid but I went and I made friends. I was afraid of giving ideas in group projects. Now I'm not afraid to share my ideas. The program has helped my confidence a lot." - LYG Student


Loveland Youth Gardeners empowers youth facing challenges to cultivate life/work skills, environmental stewardship, and a spirit of community service, because everyone deserves to thrive.

Background Statement

Loveland Youth Gardeners (LYG) was the vision of its founding director, Joanna Rago, MSW, a former Clinical Social Worker who believed that working with young people to cultivate skills and strengths through growing an organic garden would benefit youth, the environment, and the community.

Loveland Youth Gardeners was started in May 1996 as an intervention program to serve Loveland area youth with emotional and behavioral challenges. Since then, LYG has continued to grow to serve more youth across a wide variety of age groups (ages 3-21). We also found a permanent home when we built our Good Enough Farm in 2021, thanks to the generosity of our partners at the Boys and Girls Clubs for Larimer County and the many, many partners and volunteers who helped us build the space into what it is today.

Organization Data


Organization name

Loveland Youth Gardeners

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Youth Development, Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, Environment, Education, Employment, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention

Organization Size

Small Organization


2500 East First Street
Loveland, CO 80537


PO Box 1004
Loveland, CO 80539

Service areas

Larimer County, CO, US



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