Community Gardening

Community Gardens Program

acgaGreen Spaces Alliance’s Community-Supported Gardening Program started in 2005 as a series of discovery meetings with a wide range of community stakeholders. Those meetings revealed a strong need for additional publicly-accessible green spaces in the city. Stakeholders indicated an awareness of many vacant, underutilized, and unkempt lots and a desire for community gathering spaces where neighbors could come together to nurture the natural environment.

In 2006, the first three pilot gardens (two vegetable and one wildscape) were identified and the program was fully underway in January 2007. Since then, the program has fostered more than 50 community gardens throughout San Antonio.

Today, the program enriches the built environment and quality of life in San Antonio by engaging a broad range of stakeholders who eagerly rally to establish and maintain a diversity of urban green spaces. These green spaces catalyze community unity across generations and cultures, nurture holistic environmental awareness through service-learning, and contribute to individual health through physical activity, improved natural atmosphere, and quality nutrition. The program grows more than green spaces; it cultivates curiosity, motivation, generosity, and friendliness and raises the next generation to strive for more urban green spaces, access to fresh produce, and civic participation as standards, rather than exceptions.

The program’s involvement in local community-supported green space projects includes guiding neighborhood groups with community organizing; designing and constructing gardens; promoting local gardening practices; managing funding and budgets; providing tools; coordinating volunteers; and teaching the community about conservation, organics, permaculture, and recycling materials. The program staff members have developed a series of best practices and regionally appropriate techniques that they share freely with inquirers from across the country.