Jon Mychal Heatherly
Grow Garden Vols and Funds
Updated: Dec 16, 2021
Pool resources together to get your community garden off the ground as a group. Besides finding suitable plots, note who can provide tools, knowledge, connections to resources like cheap compost or soil, and who has the time and ability to work in the garden.
Local nurseries and individual enthusiasts often provide seeds and starts for free — merely for the love of growing and desire to share it with others. All you must do is ask. Beyond these considerations, you will likely need funding to sustain the garden every year. There are many ways to acquire funding, so take note of some sources.
Whether you are a neighborhood group or something else, you can accept donations from members such as $10 a month. You will likely need funding for things like fencing, tools, a shed, and other items not mentioned here. Many components can be provided cheap or free (like seeds or hay), but some require funds to sustain an operation.
You will need tools like hoes, shovels, garden hoses, rakes, stakes, and more! Consider the financial requirements of your plans, and be prepared to scale up or down as necessary. Regardless, you can make it work at any scale.
Finding funds may be as simple as attending planning meetings and proposing a budget request for a church group or civic organization. Another possibility is soliciting donations from local businesses, civic groups, and non-profits.
Attaining non-profit status will assist your quest for funding, so decide whether you want to undergo that process. Some local parks and recreation boards will provide sponsorship, or you can even raise funds through another non-profit using their tax status to allow donors to write off donations from their taxes.
Want additional tips? The ACGA compiled this fact sheet for further information.