There is a wealth of information on-line about urban gardening. For New York City
Community Gardeners, there are a number of public and private organizations that
provide a variety of services to community gardeners.
Established in 1978, GreenThumb (GT) remains the nation's largest urban gardening program, assisting 500 gardens and nearly 20,000 garden members throughout New York City. Their mission is to foster civic participation and encourage neighborhood revitalization while preserving open space.
Today, the GT program, by providing materials and technical assistance, continues to support neighborhood volunteers who manage community gardens as active and attractive community resources.
GT gardens are located in all five boroughs of New York City. The majority of GT gardens are located in economically disadvantaged community planning districts that receive federal financial support through a complement of open space, affordable housing, and economic development. Active garden sites create a stable force in the community and serve as anchors for other re-development initiatives.
Individual Community Garden Websites
6/15 Green - www.615green.org
6BC Botanical Garden - 6bc.org
6th and B Garden - www.6bgarden.org
Bissel Gardens - www.bisselgardens.org
Brooklyn Bear’s Gardens - brooklynbears.wordpress.com
Clinton Community Garden - www.clintoncommunitygarden.org
Creative Little Garden - www.creativelittlegarden.org
The Floyd Bennett Garden Association - www.fbga.net
Garden of Union - www.thegardenofunion.com
Greene Acres Community Garden - greeneacres.interactivist.net
Hattie Carthan Community Garden - www.hattiecarthangarden.com
Hollenback - hollenback.pbworks.com/w/page/18771296/FrontPage
JFK High School - www.thomania.org/enchantedgarden
LaGuardia Corner Gardens - www.laguardiacornergardens.org/LaGuardia_Corner_Gardens/Welcome.html
Liz Christy Garden - www.lizchristygarden.org
M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden - www.mkgarden.org
Prospect Heights Community Farm - www.phcfarm.com/welcome
Red Hook Community Farm - www.added-value.org/the-farms
Red Shed Community Garden - www.redshedgarden.com
R.I.N.G. Garden - www.geo.hunter.cuny.edu/~mclarke/RING.htm
West Side Community Garden - www.westsidecommunitygarden.org
Formerly known as Council on the Environment, GrowNYC is a hands-on non-profit which improves New York City’s quality of life through environmental programs that transform communities block by block and empower all New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations. GrowNYC's Open Space Greening (OSG) program empowers neighborhoods to build, manage, and sustain community gardens and other open spaces in New York City.
OSG has also taken the lead in bringing rainwater harvesting to community gardens. We've built or trained people to build rainwater harvesting systems in gardens in all 5 boroughs. Rainwater harvesting is much more convenient for gardeners and reduces demand on the public water supply system. It also helps mitigate rainstorm runoff, which can overload storm drains and pollute the waters surrounding the city.
GrowNYC has completed an inventory of community gardens for the interactive, searchable GIS map Open Accessible Space Information Systems (OASIS), available at
Green Guerillas (www.greenguerillas.org)
Green Guerillas uses a unique mix of education, organizing, and advocacy to help people cultivate community gardens, sustain grassroots groups and coalitions, engage youth, paint colorful murals, and address issues critical to the future of their gardens.
New York State Community Garden Program (www.agmkt.state.ny.us/cg/cghome.html)
The Community Gardens Program was created to support the thousands of New Yorkers who are building greener, healthier cities through community gardens, school gardens and educational farms.
State law defines community gardens as “public or private lands upon which citizens of the state have the opportunity to garden on lands which they do not individually own.” There are well over 1,000 registered or permitted community gardens in New York’s cities and many more cases where residents have rescued derelict private or public lots in an effort to build more livable neighborhoods.
Over 100 community gardens in NYC are now privately owned as part of a Land Trust.
Two organizations either own or manage these sites, the Trust for Public Land and New York Restoration Project. The Trust for Public Land gardens are managed by the Manhattan Land Trust, Bronx Land Trust and the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust.
Trust for Public Land (www.tpl.org/tier3_cdl.cfm?content_item_id=18995&folder_id=2928)
The Trust for Public Land now owns 69 community gardens throughout New York City. 64 gardens where saved from a city auction and eventual destruction, and an additional 5, the city subsequently donated to TPL for preservation. TPL works side by side with dedicated community gardeners to transform vacant lots into vibrant spaces where nature and community thrive.
Manhattan Land Trusts (manhattanlandtrust.org/) – 14 gardens
Bronx Land Trusts (bronxlandtrust.org/) – 16 gardens
Brooklyn Queens Land Trust (www.bqlt.org)
– 34 gardens
New York Restoration Project
New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to reclaiming and restoring New York City parks, community gardens and open space.
The cornerstone of New York Restoration Project’s mission and work continues to be the restoration, re-design, maintenance and programming of the organization’s 55 community gardens located throughout New York City’s five boroughs.
Two of NYC’s botanic gardens Brooklyn Botanic Garden through Brooklyn GreenBridge and the New York Botanical Garden through Bronx Green-Up provide services to community gardeners in their respective Boroughs.
Brooklyn GreenBridge (www.bbg.org/greenbridge/greenbridge)
GreenBridge, the community environmental horticulture program of Brooklyn Botanic Garden, promotes urban greening through education, conservation, and creative partnerships. Working with block associations, community gardens, and other service groups, GreenBridge is building a vibrant network of people, places, and projects dedicated to making Brooklyn a greener place.
All Brooklyn community gardens are invited to join the GreenBridge Community Garden Alliance (GCGA). The alliance's focus is on promoting sustainable gardening practices to support healthy communities of people, plants, and wildlife.
The Brooklyn Urban Gardener (BUG) certificate program is an eight-week course of interconnected workshops that cover the basics in urban gardening and community greening.
Bronx Green-Up (www.nybg.org/green_up)
Bronx Green-Up, the community outreach program of The New York Botanical Garden, provides horticultural advice, technical assistance, and training to community gardeners, school groups, and other organizations interested in improving urban neighborhoods in the Bronx through greening projects.
Bronx Green-Up offers horticulture certificate programs and workshops for community gardeners throughout the year. It also hosts a number of events such as the Harvest Festival, which brings community gardeners together to celebrate their bounty, share information, and learn from each other.
Additional sources of information and assistance for NYC community gardeners and
others interested in community gardening.
Citizens Committee for NYC (www.citizensnyc.org)
Citizens Committee for New York City stimulates and supports self-help and civic action to improve the quality of life in New York City and its neighborhoods. Citizens Committee supports community gardeners’ efforts by offering workshops, grants, training, networking events, helpful publications, a lending library, a meeting space and one-on-one assistance.
Just Food (www.justfood.org)
Just Food is a non-profit organization that works to develop a just and sustainable food system in the New York City region. The City Farms Program trains, connects, and empowers New York City community gardeners to spread knowledge about growing, selling, and giving more food in their neighborhoods.
Gardeners keep chickens all over the city providing fresh eggs, fun and education for children, fertilizer for the garden, aerated soil, kitchen and garden scrap recycling. City Farms is working with experienced chicken keepers in NYC to create model projects from which gardeners can learn how to keep happy, healthy, and productive chickens.
Coalitions of gardeners unite community gardens, provide strength in numbers and opportunities to spread the word about community gardening
New York City Community Gardens Coalition
The mission of the New York City Community Gardens Coalition is to promote the preservation and creation of community gardens and community-developed open space in the five boroughs of New York City, to educate the public about the value of gardens and the benefits they confer on New York City residents and to serve as an effective resource for providing information and technical support to community gardeners. They work to raise the profile of community gardening among elected and appointed officials, the media, the environmental community and the general public and to foster networking and communication among the NYC garden communities.
La Familia Verde (www.lafamiliaverde.org)
La Familia Verde is a coalition of community gardens in the Crotona, East Tremont, and West Farms neighborhoods in the Bronx. Formed in 1998, our mission is to sustain the environment and culture of our neighborhood through education, community service, and horticulture.
East New York Farms (www.eastnewyorkfarms.org)
The mission of the East New York Farms Project is to organize youth and adults to address food justice in our community by promoting local sustainable agriculture and community-led economic development.
Web based community gardener groups provide opportunities for networking, finding answers to problems or broadcasting information about a community garden event. You have to sign up to join these groups.
Brooklyn Community Gardeners Group
New York State Community Garden Listserv
E-mail to get sign up directions- GARDEN-L@listserv.health.state.ny.us
Community Garden Listserv
Post questions and information to the list and have immediate access to the collective knowledge of all the other subscribers, including the Board members of ACGA and hundreds of knowledgeable, experienced community gardeners from all over North America. Discussion topics range from fund raising to soil improvement to keeping gardeners motivated. The subscription is free and available in regular or digest version.
Community Gardening Blogs
Bed Stuy Blog (www.bedstuyblog.com/category/community-gardens)
Community gardening (commmunitygardening.blogspot.com)
Farming Concrete (farmingconcrete.com/about)
History and Research
A History of New York's Community Gardens 1970-2000
2010 Survey of NYC Community Gardens including history to 2010
The Effect of Community Gardens on Neighboring Property Values
Eco-tipping Points, "Green Guerillas: Revitalizing Urban Neigborhoods with Community Gardens"
Children, Gardens, and Lead Fact sheet on lead in the urban environment
Soil testing web site with instructions on how to get your soil tested.
Community Development through Gardening: State and Local
Policies Transforming Urban Open Space
How to . . .
. . . start a Community Garden?
For information about starting a community garden:
. . . find a Community Garden in New York City
. . . save seeds
. . . compost
. . . Garden Organically
. . . define Community Garden Rules and regulations
In order for a garden to operate effectively it is important that everyone is aware of their responsibilities.
Here are 4 examples of garden rules to use as guides.
. . . Beekeeping
Community gardening is an activity that takes place the world over. To find out about community gardening beyond New York City visit the sites below.
American Community Gardening Association (www.communitygarden.org)
The American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) was founded in 1979 to help gardening programs share their limited resources, and benefit from each other's experience and expertise.
Through its networking, publications (the annual Community Greening Review, quarterly newsletter The Community Gardener, etc.), slide show and an annual conference held in a different part of the country each year, ACGA: promotes the formation and expansion of national and regional community gardening networks, develops resources in support of community gardening and greening, encourages research on the impact of community greening, and conducts educational programs.
City Farmer (www.cityfarmer.org)
This site, "Urban Agriculture Notes" (www.cityfarmer.org), which has been running continuously since 1994 with its hundreds of pages of urban agriculture information, will remain online and will be updated when necessary with corrected e-mails, URL’s, etc. It is still a gold mine of information.
Since January 1, 2008, new articles have been posted to the new City Farmer News site: