Michael Szuberla
PhD Student
Environmental Studies

Dissertation: “Community Gardens Are Good to Think With: An Exploratory Study of the Epistemic Services of Community Gardens.”

Michael Szuberla (M.S.) is a PhD student at the University of Colorado Boulder in environmental studies, where he researches the epistemic impacts of community gardens.  Michael is a research associate with CEDaR.

Before coming to Colorado, Michael spent more than 15 years organizing and promoting urban agriculture in Toledo, Ohio. In 1998 he founded a community land trust which purchased, developed and managed 12 vacant properties in Toledo’s central city.  This work led to a job directing the Toledo Botanical Garden’s outreach program Toledo GROWs (2001-2012), where he expanded the number of community gardens in northwest Ohio from 24 to more than 150.  As the director of Toledo GROWs, Michael developed an award-winning job-training program for adjudicated youth, created a wide-variety of educational programs, organized regional food system conferences, initiated an urban agriculture program with the local community college and provided resources to more than 1,500 community gardeners.  This work was largely funded by private and foundation donors, United States Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Neighborhoods and the United Way.  Michael has also spoken throughout the Great Lakes region on the benefits of community gardens.