ABOUT US

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 membership includes community gardeners, supportive volunteers, garden coordinators and sponsoring organizations, donors and other community allies. This includes community members, neighbourhood groups, nonprofit agencies, schools and childcare centres, public libraries and faith-based groups, all working together to support one another and share resources to empower people of all ages to better be able to grow healthy, nutritious food.

Fresh organic vegetables. Food background. Healthy food from garden

Our Work

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 Goals

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
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Our Values

We believe everyone deserves to easily access nutritious and affordable healthy food, that food security if 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 global warming is real and a looming threat now and to future generations, and that green infrastructure (including community gardens) and environmental stewardship are of the highest priority for communities, nations, and our shared planet.

Community Gardens

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.

Covid-19 Statement

The Covid-19 pandemic is magnifying the structural inequalities in our food system, such as unequal access to healthy food, the challenges within our current global food supply chains and is accelerating poverty.

For those of us involved in community gardens, we know that to consider gardening a  recreational activity is a very privileged perspective, as to many people these gardens provide important access to food that they rely on. The practices of community gardening and farming have long been an important key to survival  and independence for marginalized folks.

Community gardens have been essential for not only providing a source of healthy food but also social connectedness, comfort, inspiration, self-sufficiency, connection with nature, and a space to learn very practical life skills.

The gardeners are so thrilled and grateful to be able to continue to safely use these spaces during the pandemic, as it really does help them put healthy food on their table and gives them something positive to focus  on.

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Many of us are settlers on this land and it is our responsibility to respect and recognize that the land on which we grow today is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, many of whom continue to live and work here today.

This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum agreement. The treaty signified an understanding between nations that these lands were a shared resource and it was everyone’s responsibility to look after the shared ecology of southern Ontario.  

When settlers arrived, this treaty was extended to include Euro-Canadians, and it was expected that settlers would respect the bounds of the “one dish” treaty, by sharing resources and living in peace, while respecting one another’s sovereignty and nationhood.

Today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples and acknowledging reminds us that our great standard of living is directly related to the resources and friendship of Indigenous people.

We are grateful today to have the opportunity to work in the community and on this territory, and we strive to honour the principles of the “one dish” treaty through our stewardship and community initiatives, to protect the wellbeing of all living things on this land for generations to come. 

Our Sponsors

We rely on sponsorship from local community members and businesses. Our gardens are always in need of things like garden tools, compost and soil, mulch, tomato cages, stakes, trellises, pots and plants.