community and school gardens
community garden
Urban Mission Food Pantry

Community & School Gardens

What is a Community Garden?

Put simply it is any piece of land gardened by a group of people. It can be urban, suburban, or rural. It can grow flowers, vegetables and/or herbs. It can be one community plot, or can be many individual plots. It can be at a school, hospital, or in a neighborhood. It can also be a series of plots dedicated to "urban agriculture" where the produce is grown for a market.

Benefits of Community Gardens:
Improves the quality of life for people in the garden
Provides a catalyst for neighborhood and community development
Stimulates social interaction
Encourages self-reliance
Beautifies neighborhoods
Produces nutritious food
Reduces family food budgets
Conserves resources
Creates opportunity for recreation
Is a fruitful way to get the recommended about of daily exercise
Supplies therapeutic benefits that span all ages
Provides experiential educational opportunities that can easily align with core academics for youth
Reduces crime
Preserves green space 
Teaches environmental stewardship
Creates income opportunities and economic development
Reduces city heat from streets and parking lots
Provides opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections

Starting a Community/School Garden:
There are many ways to start a community garden. Whether you're working with friends, neighbors, or a local organization, there are many things you'll want to consider before you ever dig the first hole.

The fact sheet "Starting a Community Garden" (see Resources) is designed to give many different groups the basic information they need to get their gardening project off the ground. These lists are in no way meant to be complete. Each main idea will probably trigger more questions, so an assortment of ways to carry out that idea are presented; pick and choose those that seem to apply to your own situation.

Thank you to American Community Garden Association for this information.


Sue Gwise
Consumer Horticulture Educator & Master Gardener Coordinator
315-788-8450 ext. 243

Last updated July 23, 2022