The Trenton Blog

Isles Develops Healthy, Self-Reliant Communities

May 1, 2021


Trenton Downtown Association knows that you get more done when you forge strong partnerships within your community. We work closely with organizations like Isles to make Trenton a stronger community not only for our businesses but our residents as well. 

Isles Develops Healthy, Self-Reliant Communities

Since 1981, Isles has been helping to build stronger communities and more self reliant families in the greater Trenton area. The work of this Trenton-based nonprofit organization includes but is certainly not limited to the community gardens it nurtures though its urban agriculture programs.

There are more than 70 community and school gardens that Isles supports, all designed to address hunger and increase access to local, healthy food. One such garden, at 33 Tucker Street in Trenton, also serves as a training site for gardeners of all levels. Many of the crops grown here are sold at the Greenwood Avenue Farmers’ Market at affordable rates. 

This spring, the Isles’ Urban Agriculture team has also been hosting virtual seed-starting workshops and gardening information sessions to encourage people to get involved with gardening, whether at home, at a school or at a community garden.

“We are happy to be known for our urban agriculture work, although it is not the full breadth of all we do,” says Michael Nordquist, Managing Director, Community Planning and Development, Isles, Inc.

Isles also offers job training, healthy home assessments, money management and first-time homeowner resources, and community planning and development, among other services.

They believe that your surroundings should not dictate your future. Isles provides a number of programs to meet its mission of developing healthy, self-reliant communities.

What Isles Does

Education and Training programs, such as the Isles Youth Institute and Youth Gardening,  engage young people in activities that will help build job and life skills for today and the future.

Live Green and Healthy programs seek to create safe, thriving spaces and promote clean energy, as well as support community gardens.

Financial Health and Wellness programs help families achieve home ownership, build wealth, restore credit and become more financially secure.

Community Revitalization programs include community planning and development, and the development of a creative district called Creek to Canal.

In addition, Isles is offering a free, week-long series of virtual webinars, workshops and panels from June 7-12, called theI Isles Forum that explores community development and covers such topics as sustainable cities, urban placemaking, lead safety and healthy housing.

TDA collaborates with Isles on a number of initiatives that help build and strengthen our communities.

“There’s great synergy between Isles and TDA. When organizations align, so much more gets done,” adds Nordquist.

How To Get Involved

If you are interested in learning more or volunteering with Isles on a specific project, contact


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