History & Press


Started by neighborhood residents on Buffalo’s West Side in 1992, the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) was incorporated in 2000.  MAPs Growing Green Program was founded in 2003 to address the growing land vacancy, high youth unemployment and food security needs of the community.  Since that time Growing Green has created hundreds of green jobs for inner-city youth, developed models for sustainable urban food production and youth leadership, increased healthy food access, and built partnerships to promote regional food system development.

Accomplishments, Honors and Awards

Over the past four years an average of 95% of our high school seniors have graduated and gone on to higher education, most being the first in their families to do so.

MAP completed the first aquaponics system in Buffalo in 2009 in its straw-bale greenhouse, soon after expanding its aquaponics facilities to include 2 additional greenhouses and increasing MAPs capacity to grow food by 300%.

In 2010 MAP was 1 of 9 organizations nationwide to receive the Harry Chapin Self Reliance Award from the World Hunger Year Organization and the Harry Chapin Foundation.

In 2010 MAP was honored by Ed Cassano, Director of Conservation at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, naming MAP’s aquaponics system and urban farm “the future of sustainable food.”

In 2010 MAP received the “Beautifying Blight” Award from National Garden Clubs, Inc.

In 2011 MAP was recognized by the 11th Hour Project and Good Food Movement as 1 of 5 of the most innovative models in food systems development in the US.

In 2011 MAP was awarded the Fresh Connect Farmers Market Grant from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and a grant through the Empire State Development Corporation for the purchase of a new Mobile Market vehicle.

In 2011 Growing Green Youth delegates helped create the first National Youth Food Bill of Rights as part of the Rooted in Community National Youth Food Policy Summit.

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