Grassroots Gardens of Western New York (GGWNY) uses a community-led model to respond to decades of systemic disinvestment in many of our cities' neighborhoods. Our member-gardens were each started by neighborhood activists who understood the positive impact a community garden could make, turning blighted, vacant lots into urban oases. Each member-garden is managed independently by their sponsoring block club, school, religious organization, community center, or other affiliate. We facilitate five key ingredients: access to land, access to water, liability insurance, garden education and material support in the form of plants, soil, and lumber.
EDUCATION AND EVENTS
Not born with a green thumb? Don't worry - we provide free community education throughout the year to support our gardeners and our community as a whole. Each spring we co-host a workshop series in conjunction with Urban Roots Community Garden Center and the Massachusetts Avenue Project. Topics have included: Composting, Building a Raised Bed, Organic Pest Management, Vegetable Gardening, Soils and Seed Starting. The summer and fall also pose the opportunity for free workshops provided by our staff and partners. We also have a Garden Education Coordinator who can provide limited support to our learning garden network in the form of workshops or on-site technical assistance. Our Community Garden Trainer provides on-site technical assistance as well to all member-gardeners Check out our schedule on our workshops and events page! Keep an eye out on our Facebook page and Instagram for other learning opportunities, sponsored by GGWNY and our community partners.
OUR GARDENER & COMMUNITY NETWORKS
Grassroots Gardens works with a variety of neighborhood groups such as schools, block clubs, religious institutions, and other non-profit organizations. These partnerships help us coordinate directly with the surrounding community to build a deep commitment to sustain member-gardens over time. Our success has been due largely to the tireless efforts of the volunteer gardeners. By becoming a part of the GGWNY network, members have the opportunity to meet diverse gardeners from all over Western New York, gaining valuable capacity-building skills and gardening skills along the way. All Grassroots Gardeners share a common love for their city, a commitment to their neighborhood, and a belief that through gardening and neighbor-to-neighbor collaboration, they have the power to make positive change happen.
We believe that all people, regardless of social or economic circumstance, deserve opportunities to engage with the natural environment around them. The work of our gardeners proves that community gardens can and do revitalize neighborhoods by building collective food security, increasing cross-cultural connections, reducing social isolation, and supporting intergenerational relationships. We welcome our gardeners to participate in the organization in a variety of ways, including joining a committee or the Board of Directors. For more information, please contact our Executive Director at 716-783-9653.