New York City, with its rows of skyscrapers and miles of dense concrete and brick buildings, might seem like that last place where a culture of urban gardeners would thrive. Surprisingly, now more than ever the presence of urban agriculturalists and green spaces is growing, with community gardens cropping up in neighborhoods all over the city. These green spaces provide not only a community to those who gather to help them thrive, but also lend many social and economic benefits to NYC’s vast population.
Are you an avid gardener whose city lifestyle limits you to tending to a few potted plants on your fire escape? It is easier than you might think to become involved with a community garden in your area; you just have to know where to look!
Green Thumb is the largest community gardening program in the nation, catering to New York City residents who want to enjoy the benefits of urban agriculture. Here you can narrow an online search to exactly what kind of community garden you are looking to become involved in, whether it’s a large one that puts on events, or a smaller one that grows produce to support the homeless. Organizations like Green Thumb make it easy to find the right garden or urban farm to volunteer at; some might even be tucked right into your neighborhood!
The beauty of gardening in a city space is that it takes a pastime that can be very personal, and brings people together to cultivate a garden that benefits the entire community. The Five Borough Farm is another organization that makes urban gardening accessible to those who want to volunteer at a community garden. The Five Borough Farm prides New York City on being a leader in the practice of urban agriculture, and explains that there is much to gain from community gardening, such as promoting physical activity, providing healthy food, and improving the local economy.
This summer, roll up your sleeves and find a community garden near you. Not only will you meet likeminded people in your neighborhood, you’ll also be helping to improve your community, and soaking up some sunshine while you do it!