Next Step Volunteers in Kansas City

Posted on July 28, 2023 by Alicia Alferman

On a recent hot Wednesday afternoon, Program Manager Paul Zehr took a group of high school students from Indiana on a tour of Westport Commons Farm. The group was one of several sent by Next Step Ministries, an organization in Madison, WI that sends church groups from across the country on short-term mission trips in the United States and Guatemala. In total, Cultivate KC received 4 groups of volunteers in June and July for 4 days each. 

Weeklong volunteer groups can get a lot done! Between the Juniper Gardens and Westport Farms, students pulled weeds, built shade structures, and even constructed a stage for our 1st Annual Midtown Hoedown. Cultivate staff were over the moon to have these extra hands to help during the busy summer season. 

 Not all their time at Cultivate was spent toiling in the field, however. As part of their 4-day trip, students tasted fresh vegetables on harvest days, toured other Cultivate program sites, and got to know urban agriculture professionals. Our staff enjoyed building relationships with the students and group leaders and were sad to see them go each week. 

2023 was the first year that Next Step Ministries has coordinated mission trips in Kansas City. Other partner sites included Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council, City Union Mission, and Habitat for Humanity KC. Earlier this month, Next Step sent a communications team to record promotional videos in hopes of creating more buzz for Kansas City trips in future years. We certainly can’t wait to welcome more groups next year! 

written by Paul Zehr, Westport Commons Farm Program Manager

Look HERE for more info about Next Step Ministries.

Are you or your organization interested in volunteering at Cultivate KC? Volunteers get a chance to learn and work alongside our friendly and knowledgeable staff while growing food, farms, and community in Kansas City. Fill out the form on our volunteer page to get the conversation started.