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This guide links to resources that: help people successfully start and manage community gardens; inform governments on how they can encourage gardens; and guide organizations on permanently protecting gardens.
Community gardens are community-managed open spaces used by community members for growing food, flowers, or other plants. They offer numerous benefits, including reliable access to healthy food, nature-based stormwater management, and strengthened ties between community members.
This guide provides links to resources that can help people successfully start and manage community gardens, as well as resources that provide information about how governments and organizations can encourage and protect gardens. Find these and other resources in the Community Gardens topic at ConservationTools.org.
The following resources provide information about starting and managing a successful garden, including finding land, securing funding, attracting gardeners, and dealing with legal issues.
How to Organize a Community Garden
Collard Greens and Common Ground: A Community Food Gardening Handbook
Ground Rules: A Legal Toolkit for Community Gardens
A Guide for Making Community Gardens Accessible for All Members
Sample community gardeners’ welcome packet
Community garden funding opportunities
The following resources explain how local governments can encourage community gardens through zoning, planning, and other methods, and how governments and organizations can protect community gardens permanently by acquiring land or conservation easements.
Community Gardening Policy Reference Guide
Establishing Land-Use Protections for Community Gardens
Cultivating Community Gardens: The Role of Local Government in Creating Healthy, Livable Neighborhoods
These organizations have significant experience with community gardens. Visit their websites to learn more about their community garden initiatives and to find gardening resources.
American Community Gardening Association
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Nate Lotze compiled this guide.
The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association produced this guide with support from the William Penn Foundation, the Colcom Foundation, and the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, Environmental Stewardship Fund, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.
Nothing contained in this or any other document available at ConservationTools.org is intended to be relied upon as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. The material presented is generally provided in the context of Pennsylvania law and, depending on the subject, may have more or less applicability elsewhere. There is no guarantee that it is up to date or error free.
© 2019 Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Text may be excerpted and reproduced with acknowledgement of ConservationTools.org and the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association.