Following a service learning project in Nicaragua, University of Denver graduates Joseph Teipel and Eric Kornacki founded Re:Vision in Denver, Colorado in October 2007.
Re:Vision began its first program, Re:Farm Denver in 2009 by forming partnerships with community organizations, residents, stakeholders, and elected officials in Westwood, an at-risk neighborhood in Southwest Denver. After generating interest in local food cultivation, Re:Vision partnered with seven families to grow backyard gardens. The success of these initial seven gardens led to a massive ripple effect. Kepner Middle School expressed interest in growing their own food, and with Re:Vision’s help, Kepner soon became the site of one of Denver’s first urban farms.
As Re:Vision began to grow, it launched its resident leadership program, the Promotora model, and hired three residents as gardening and nutrition community health workers. After starting this train-the-trainer community-led strategy, Re:Vision transformed from a good idea into a groundbreaking model for community-generated growth.
Over the past six years, Re:Vision has expanded the gardening program to include 300 families, making it one of the largest urban-based community run agriculture programs in the United States. Re:Vision has worked with partners to pilot an urban farm CSA with Somali Bantu refugees, to pioneer a “gardening not gangs” violence prevention youth food justice program, and to fiscally sponsor neighborhood projects around building healthier places. Re:Vision has grown from a staff of two to over 20, with 10 hired Promotoras, and more in training.
By 2015, Re:Vision aims to work with over 400 gardening families in Southwest Denver and to launch Denver’s first community-owned grocery store and food hub, which will be owned by 1,000 members of the Westwood community.
Re:Vision has received numerous awards, grants and accolades, including the 2013 Slow Money Entrepreneur of the Year award.