The Farm at St. Joe’s: Growing Healthy and Resilient Communities

Authors: Lauren Highleyman(MS, SNRE) and Cassidy Dellorto-Blackwell(MS, SNRE)
Advisor: SFSI faculty affiliate Raymond De Young
April 2017

The purpose of this project was to assess awareness of programs and explore opportunities for program development for The Farm at St. Joe’s (The Farm), part of The St. Joseph Mercy Health System. For this assessment, we surveyed community members in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti to understand current awareness of The Farm and its offerings, interest in proposed future programming, and barriers impeding access to fresh produce and Farm offerings. We discovered a general lack of awareness of The Farm and its current programs and revealed a five category framework of program classification for ongoing exploration and development. We also facilitated two meetings to engage stakeholders in St. Joseph Mercy Health System and the broader community in proposing suggestions for creating greater visibility, providing direction for program expansion, and guiding strategic partnership development for The Farm. Based on this research, we have developed a set of recommendations intended to guide The Farm in growing its reach and impact as part of a large anchor institution in the Washtenaw County community. Read more