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Mallory Horton Waters Plants in the GreenHouse at Harvesting Earth Urban Garden

Jacky and Dora King are karate instructors near Flint, Michigan, who’ve started up several urban gardens as a way to help revitalize the Flint area community and also teach their students about healthy living and eating. The Michigan Municipal League is so impressed with what the Kings are doing that the League is having them share their story during our 2010 Convention Sept. 21-24 in Dearborn. The Kings, along with Erin Caudell of the Ruth Mott Foundation, will talk about urban gardening and how communities throughout Michigan and nation can use it as a tool to make vacant lots and run-down neighborhoods vital once again. The Kings and their Harvesting Earth Educational Farm also will be the focus of a documentary film, called “The Kings of Flint,” being made by Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences that officials hope to air on PBS later this year. You can view an excerpt of this outstanding documentary on YouTube here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIWls9b0rpk. For details about the League’s Convention go to convention.mml.org. For details about the League go to www.mml.org/home.html. Pictured in these photos by the Michigan Municipal League are Jacky King, Dora King, and student workers, Hakim Gillard, 17; Cody Houston, 17; Zachary Shutes, 17; Shaquita Morris, 17; Mallory Horton, 18; and Samantha Freeman, 18. In six years, the Kings have grown their urban gardening program from nothing to a program that now encompasses 16 former vacant city lots in Mt. Morris Township and Genesee Township and last year involved more than 900 volunteers and paid workers.

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Taken on July 26, 2010