HELP US GROW
Grassroots Gardens of WNY is a dedicated group of community gardeners and activists. Our mission is to share knowledge, power and resources to grow healthy food, heal systemic harm, and strengthen neighborhood connections through community gardens.
Since 1995, Grassroots Gardens has connected people to place, partnering with neighborhood block clubs, school, religious organizations and nonprofit partners to reclaim vacant lots and build community gardens. We believe that food is a human right and green space should be available in all neighborhoods to support community health. Our promise is that the community leads the way in growing community gardens and that gardening in the city will be accessible to all. Whether a school wants to grow the next generation of environmental stewards or a group of neighbors want to grow veggies on their block, we will work with them to create the community garden of their dreams. All of our gardens are managed by community members, within a set of growing guidelines to ensure soil and food safety. The majority of our gardens are in areas of the cities that have experienced generations of determined disinvestment, leading to food apartheid - the systemic denial of fresh, healthy, affordable foods to families and whole communities. To address these issues in solidarity with city residents most affected by food apartheid, we provide access to land and water through private and public partnerships, underwrite the cost of liability insurance, offer free garden education and invest over $85,000 a year in material support to our member-gardens. There are currently over 100 community and school gardens within our Buffalo and Niagara Falls network. Roughly 2,000 gardeners from nearly 30 cultural backgrounds participate in our network, collectively growing over 35,000 lbs. of fresh, free produce per year and significantly restoring Buffalo-Niagara’s native plantscape and urban habitat.
Photo: Grassroots Gamelan was hosted in 7 gardens in the summer of 2021 with Nusantara Arts.
We recognize that it’s not enough, though, to just provide temporary access to spaces and places to grow. Buffalo-Niagara’s “renaissance” has come at the cost of gentrification and green space land loss in some neighborhoods and continued disinvestment in others. Grassroots Gardens WNY became a land trust in 2017 in order to permanently conserve and protect our cities’ community gardens. Our vision is to create a lasting network of land and people growing healthy communities. In 2021, we earned our national accreditation as a land trust, demonstrating that we are working at the highest and best standards in land and community conservation.
“We” includes all of us - our gardeners, our staff, our board members, and our philanthropic partners who give their time, talent and funds to grow Grassroots Gardens. We act in solidarity and through democratic decision-making. We need your support to ensure Buffalo-Niagara’s community gardens remain for generations to come. It is imperative that we build a strong private fundraising effort that is not overly dependent on grants. We are always grateful for donations of any amount: whether a one-time gift or sustaining support by joining our monthly Sowing Circle. Visit our Take Action page to learn about other ways you can give of your time and talents. Thank you for your partnership.