“Growing Local Roots” is a multimedia news project produced by students in the Environmental
Reporting class at Western Michigan University. This in-depth project focuses on
local food connections in Southwest Michigan communities and explores issues related
to environmental sustainability, food access and food security, local food sources
and economic development, food quality and personal health.
Eighteen undergraduate student journalists completed this reporting project during
the Fall 2011 semester. Reporting teams visited local community gardens, farmer’s
markets, health food stores, food pantries and restaurants to conduct research
and interviews with expert and community sources. The stories, photos, graphics,
videos and audio relay the experiences of local residents dedicated to making access
to local foods and fresh produce a priority for all.