Community Gardens in Somerville
The Conservation Commission initiated and oversees the City's Community Garden program. The Commission helps establish new gardens, hires a city-wide garden coordinator and establishes policies for the gardens. Currently, the City has 11 active gardens shown on the map available on the right side bar. The Commission administers the Conservation Fund that can accept donations for the assistance with gardens and plantings in the City.
How to Get Involved
Albion Community Garden opened in 2010 with 13 garden plots. Durrell Community Garden and the Allen St. Community Garden opened in June 2007. Durrell was the first of the city’s Community Gardens designed especially to be accessible to gardeners with physical disabilities, including raised beds for gardening from a wheelchair.
The Somerville Community Growing Center
The Somerville Community Growing Center is much more than a Community Garden. Situated on a ¼ acre of gently sloped hillside near Union Square, the site has become the center for both environmental education and cultural performances in Somerville. Initiated in 1994, it is a model for urban land use and collaboration between city government and local non-profit and community agencies. This urban oasis was designed and built by local residents and is maintained by volunteers.
A volunteer group, the Friends of the Community Growing Center, coordinates a full season of concerts and other events open to the public, in addition to educational programming. The Friends recruit and train the Center’s volunteers and also raise the funds to support all programming.
The Center provides a hands-on learning environment for local youth to learn about the natural world, science, community service and cultural issues. After school programs are offered during the fall and spring, and there is a spring vacation camp, in collaboration with local elementary schools, such as the Cummings School. Teachers from Cummings and the High School use this space as an outdoor classroom to support a wide range of educational programs.
The Center has garnered widespread recognition, including a 1995 National Garden Association Youth Garden Award, and a community garden award from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. A number of local, state, and national conferences have featured the Somerville Community Growing Center - which has provided the inspiration for innovative garden programming throughout the United States.
For current programming at the Community Growing Center, go to: www.thegrowingcenter.org.
School Yard Gardens
Groundwork Somerville and the Somerville School Department run an active schoolyard garden program. For more information see the Groundwork Somerville website at www.groundworksomerville.org.
How to Get Involved
How does it work?
Each garden is managed by one or more volunteer Garden Coordinators. Coordinators assign plots, help gardeners get seeds and compost, and provide information and advice to those who want it. Garden plots are available on a first-come-first-served basis. If no plot is available, your name may be added to a "wait list". Gardeners are charged a nominal fee and asked to sign a letter of agreement recognizing the cities rights and the gardener's responsibilities.
Who do I contact?
If you are interested in getting a plot in one of Somerville’s 8 Community Gardens, please send an email to [email protected].
Through the annual program, more than 100 Somerville teens will be placed within City departments as well as with private business partners in Somerville.