Niagara Community Garden Network is a collaborative non-profit community garden network and advocacy group that is funded and facilitated by United Way Niagara.
Our mission is to build community and improve local food security by supporting, expanding and enhancing community gardening across Niagara.
We believe growing and sharing food can transform communities and address environmental, health and social issues.
There are many ways to garden in community. We link a diverse range of different types of community gardens across Niagara, including allotment gardens, community sharing gardens, urban farms, therapeutic, educational, vocational and school gardens.
Our member are community gardeners, supportive volunteers, garden coordinators and sponsoring organizations, donors and other community allies, including community members, neighbourhood groups, nonprofit agencies, schools and childcare centres, public libraries and faith-based groups. We all work together to support one another and share resources to empower people of all ages to better be able to grow healthy, nutritious food.
We offer a range of resources for community gardeners, coordinators, volunteers and the general public, including:
- Encouraging mutual support by hosting monthly networking meetings among members to share community gardening information, experience, and best practices
- Creating and hosting gardening, food skills and community building workshops
- Sharing online tools and resources
- Providing financial support to new and existing community gardens and sharing information on grant opportunities
- Consulting on new and existing projects
- Helping connect gardeners and garden coordinators to broader community supports
Our overall goal is to support food access, food security and food justice by utilizing the following strategies:
- Advocating for community gardens with local municipal and regional governments to create supportive public policy, utilities and land use
- Actively encouraging cooperation among community gardeners, sponsors, and supporters
- Providing financial support and info about grants and other resources to members
- Developing and sharing reliable community gardening information in workshops and online
- Participating in broad food security coalitions
- Supporting school gardening, urban agriculture, horticultural therapy, food security, conservation efforts, environmental stewardship, and other related initiatives
We believe everyone deserves to easily access nutritious and affordable healthy food, that food security is a fundamental human right.
We see diversity as an essential source of strength and knowledge, and we value and seek diverse membership and leadership.
We strive to provide barrier-free participation in community gardens and in our Network, regardless of gender, race, religion, age, physical ability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, language and level of education.
We believe that climate change is a threat now and to future generations, and that green infrastructure (including community gardens) and environmental stewardship are of the highest priority for all communities and our shared planet.
Community gardens are common spaces where different people come together to create, develop and sustain a gardening space. They can be located on either public or privately-owned land.
Gardeners grow a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers in individually managed or shared plots, often with common goals such as building community, beautifying neighbourhoods, improving food security, or as educational or therapeutic resources.
Community gardens are a really valuable asset that contributes to healthy and inclusive neighbourhoods with broad social, environmental, economic and educational benefits.