Guide to Community Gardening

Do you love gardening? Are you interested in taking your passion a step further? Community gardens allow you to share your love of growing things with others and make a difference in your community.

What Is a Community Garden?

Community gardens are plots of land used by a group to grow produce and sometimes flowers. This may include a group of individuals working together collectively on one communal garden, or it may consist of individuals owning and maintaining their own individual plots. Often, these gardens are developed near schools, neighborhoods or community centers.

Benefits of Community Gardens

Community gardens improve the quality of life of individuals and a community by:

  • Being a catalyst for neighborhood development
  • Encouraging social interaction
  • Making neighborhoods more beautiful
  • Helping people learn self-reliance
  • Teaching people how to garden and grow food
  • Producing nutritious produce
  • Providing exercise
  • Educating people about food choices

How to Start a Community Garden

Interested? You can find a community garden near you at American Community Gardening Association. Another option is to start your own community garden group. If you're beginning your own community garden, here are some steps you can take to get started:

  1. Gather a group of interested people to discuss what kind of garden you want to make, plus what land and other resources are available.
     
  2. Choose a committee to get the project going by: procuring available resources, getting approval for the garden site, finding experienced gardeners to assist in the project, gathering supplies and planning advertising.
     
  3. Plan how expenses will be met. Find sponsors or set dues.
     
  4. Prepare the land. Organize work crews to clean and prepare the soil.
     
  5. Plant your garden. Contact master gardeners for help in making planting decisions and organizing watering, weeding and insect protection.
     
  6. Plan continued communication through regular meetings, social media or a waterproof bulletin board in the garden.

Enjoy Your Harvest

The fruit of your labors in community gardening is not only the produce you pick, but also the new friendships and community pride. Being a part of a community garden may be a lot of work, but it is also satisfying to see how one project can create so many positive individuals and community changes.