Community Garden Network

The Community Garden Network is a partnership of organizations in Athens that meets to collaborate on School and Community Garden Projects. The group meets quarterly and is comprised of the UGA Dept. of Horticulture Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful, UGA Cooperative Extension, Athens Community Council on Aging, and Athens Land Trust.


Community gardenThe Community Garden Network (CGN) was formed in 2010 when the Athens Land Trust (ALT) received a three-year grant from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  As a result of this grant a network of fifteen community gardens were established in low-income communities throughout Athens-Clarke County.The network also includes twenty two school gardens and two major “hub” gardens that serve as demonstration and teaching sites. The mission of this program is to provide healthy, nutritious food for low-income families (including children, the elderly, and minority populations) by providing opportunities and support for them to grow their own.

Partners:

Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful: KACCB is a nonprofit organization housed within the Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department/Recycling Division.  The mission of KACCB is to educate and empower citizens and businesses with the resources to take action as environmental stewards of litter prevention, waste reduction, and beautification. KACCB can help you borrow tools from the Community Toolshed, recruit volunteers, and find a site for a new garden.

School Garden Network: Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful is the chair of the School Garden Committee, a sub-committee of the CGN which promotes and engages the community in school gardens. Those engaged in gardening on school property can find support and resources by visiting the school garden webpage, joining the school garden listserve, and contacting KACCB to be connected to the resources they need to maintain and use school gardens.

UGArdenThis student organization is dedicated to the management of a 4-acre garden located on South Milledge Avenue, on university land formerly dedicated to sheep and hog farming. The garden began as a simple idea to provide a place for students to learn to raise food and promote sustainable gardening. The garden currently features fruit plantings, bee hives, green walls, medicinal herbs, a high tunnel and a woodland mushroom demonstration area.

Athens – Clarke County  Extension Office: The ACC Extension Office provides research-based education in agriculture, horticulture, the environment, families, and 4-H/youth using a combination of resources from The University of Georgia, Athens-Clarke County, and the USDA.

UGA Materials Reuse Program: The purpose of the Material Reuse Program is to divert C+D (construction and demolition) waste from sites on the UGA campus and within the Athens region and actively reuse these “waste” materials on community-based and student projects.  Students learn the value of reuse by utilizing reclaimed materials in hands-on landscape construction projects.  In addition to the ecological benefits of diverting and reusing waste, salvaged materials provide numerous economic incentives and societal benefits.  The Material Reuse Program is a part of the College of Environment & Design.

Garnett Ridge

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Contact Information:
Seth Nivens
seth@athenslandtrust.org
ALT Office: 706-613-0122

Resources:

CGN Garden Operations Document (.pdf)

From UGA Cooperative Extension

Home Gardening,  Westerfeil

Growing Vegetables Organically, Boyhan et al.

Vegetable Gardening in Georgia, Westfield & Linvill

Vegetable Garden Calendar, McLaurin et al.

Mulching Vegetables, Westerfield

When to Harvest Vegetables, Westerfield

Disease Control in the Home Vegetable Garden, Langston & Eaker

On the Web

American Community Gardening Association

Youth Gardening, American Horticultural Society

Other Recommendations

Organic Gardening’s All-Time Best Gardening Secrets.” Organic Gardening. (1990): Pages 2 – 32

B.F. Marshall, et al. Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening: The Indispensable Resource for Every Gardener. New York: Rodale Press, 1978

Some of Our Community Gardens

Athena Gardens Community Garden

With the corporate sponsorship of US Lawns and the help of many volunteers, a community garden was established at the Athena Gardens Retirement Community in March of 2012. Residents of Athena Gardens cooperatively share responsibility for managing their fourteen 4′ x 20′ raised beds and regularly enjoy the harvest of their garden through communal meals prepared in the facility’s kitchen.

Athens Area Homeless Shelter Community Garden

Guided by volunteers, the Athens Area Homeless Shelter Community Garden provides an opportunity for families to see where their food comes from, to experience local and fresh produce, and to participate in gardening activities throughout the year. To sign up for volunteering with the AAHS and their lovely Community Garden, please visit: http://helpathenshomeless.org/home/volunteer.

Athens Community Council on Aging Gardens

A once-abandoned parking lot is now home to 18 raised containers in which produce is grown for ACCA’s Meals on Wheels, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, and other programs. Produce from this garden goes to Center for Active Living (CAL plus) participants, especially the Garden Club members.

CARE Garden of AIDS Athens

Athens Land Trust partnered with AIDS Athens to launch the Care Garden, a container garden where crops such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squashes, and watermelons have flourished. The garden hosts a weekly gathering for tending vegetables and herbs, and occasionally holds classes.

IHNA Fresh Start Community Garden

This of the Interfaith Hospitality Network is to bring “the faith community together to help families regain their housing, their independence, and their dignity.” For volunteer opportunities, contact IHNA Executive director Ken Sherman, (706) 425-1881.

Knollwood Community Garden

Knollwood Community Garden was started in April 2014 to bring the community together by growing food, and to help those who aren’t always able to afford fresh produce. The garden is free to the residents of Knollwood Manor, 205 Old Hull Road in Athens. For more information contact Broderick Flanigan.

Mae Willie Morton Community Garden

With over 10 years of history under its belt, the Mae Willie Morton Community Garden of the Brooklyn Neighborhood is widely recognized as one of the oldest community gardens in Athens. The garden, formerly located across the street from its present location, now thrives upon the site of a razed drug house which the Housing Authority donated to the neighborhood in 2006. In a place where undesirable activities once were rampant, now flowers and vegetables grow rampantly.

One Community Garden

One Community Garden is a partnership between Young Harris Memorial UMC and Action Ministries created to mobilize the local community into utilizing untapped, sustainable urban resources. The garden is located in the front lawn of Young Harris Memorial UMC at 973 Prince Ave. For those interested in volunteering, having a space to garden, or just visiting, contact Drew Hooks at dhooks@actionministries.net or garden@yhmumc.org

Pinewood Community Garden

With the support of Master Gardener Brendan Nordgren and Pinewood Library’s Branch Director Aida Quinones, Master Gardener Helen Kuykendall and ALT’s Stephanie Bergamo coordinated and led a Junior Master Gardener Golden Ray Series program. More than 40 Pinewood youth received Certificates of Recognition in the program and the group of young gardeners as a whole, known as the Pinewood Green Rangers, received a Certificate of Completion.

Reverend Bascoe Jackson Community Garden

Hill Chapel Baptist Church is a predominately African-American church with a 100-year history in the West Hancock community. The garden’s first planting was in April of 2011. The vegetables, grown communally, are shared among the garden members, the community members who receive weekly meals from the church, and the neighbors. For volunteer information, please contact Diane Easely, 706-248-1978.

Salvation Army HOPE Garden

This garden provides seasonal produce for the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen. The Salvation Army is currently accepting individual volunteers to help weed, water, harvest, and plant, as well as volunteer groups for new and ongoing projects. Please contact their office directly for volunteer opportunities and/or a tour: 706-543-5350. 

The Church at College Station Community Garden

The Church at College Station is offering community members access to our raised bed garden. The garden is located on church property at 1225 College Station Road. We currently have 8 raised beds available. The beds are 4×8, 4×10, 4×12 and 4×16. It is anticipated that one person/family will utilize each raised bed and enjoy the produce of their labor. We will also place a harvest box at our church door so that any growers who may so desire can share a portion of their harvest with our food pantry. Access to the garden is being offered as a community service of our church, and so at this point the raised beds are free of charge. We do ask that participants come to or call the church office to register for a raised bed. To reserve a raised bed please call the church office M-Th, 9am-1pm: 706-548-3409; 706-765-7149, or send an email: admin@churchatcs.com