Start a community garden.


“Community gardening can range from creating a small school garden to adopting an abandoned plot of land and turning it into something useful and beautiful,” according to Green Thumb NYC, the largest urban gardening program in the United States. The American Community Gardening Association defines "community garden" as any piece of land that is tended by people, whether it be a small plot in a dense city center, a larger space in the suburbs or a plot in a more rural setting. Whatever the scale or location of the community garden you have in mind, there are several things to consider if you want to start one up.

The best place to begin is the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) Web site, where you can find a fact sheet, tools, training opportunities and resources to get your project under way. ACGA provides several guidelines, such as forming a planning committee, choosing a site, finding sponsors and organizing and maintaining the garden. ACGA also provides references to books and other resources in its Community Garden Startup resources section.

Interested in urban gardening but don’t wish to start one yourself? Several cities with active urban gardeners have Web sites with information on joining a garden near you. Here are just a few: New York City, Boston, Chicago, and Portland, Oregon.