Wasatch Community Gardens Overview
Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: assist with a youth gardening class, which helps connect low-income youth with fresh, local food and community through hands-on, outdoor learning in our youth gardens.
Programs: Since 1989, Wasatch Community Gardens (WCG) has provided Wasatch Front residents access to a vibrant and evolving network of gardening, land, and education.
Access to Gardening and Land
Through the Community Gardening Program, we offer community members of all income levels the opportunity to grow their own food by providing garden space, resources, administrative assistance, and education. Impacts of the program go beyond providing land and resources for individual gardeners. Community gardens also strengthen community bonds; encourage outdoor, physical activity; increase fruit and vegetable consumption; provide the setting for organic gardening research and education; and serve as horticultural displays in urban settings.
WCG oversees eleven community gardens in the Salt Lake Valley with 387 garden plots. Through the Wasatch Community Gardens Network, we also assist other groups to start and sustain their own community gardens by providing leadership development, funding, materials resources, and networking. Finally, through innovative partnerships with Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City, we offer programs that provide residents access to community gardens on City and County-owned land.
Access to Education
The Youth Gardening Program encourages youth to make healthier food choices and become more physically active by providing participants with: 1) access to healthy, local food, 2) unique outdoor experiences, and 3) organic gardening skills. The youth participants represent a diverse cross section of Salt Lake City residents, with a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, and range from 3-18 years of age. Components of the program include City Roots after-school and summer classes, City Sprouts summer camps, and Growing Greens field trips. To execute the program, WCG collaborates with a variety of social service agencies that serve low-income youth, including Boys and Girls Clubs, YWCA, and YouthCity, as well as the Salt Lake City School District.
Through the Community Education Program, we offer diverse organic gardening and sustainable food workshops, print and online educational resources, and direct outreach activities. We charge a nominal fee for the workshops; however, we offer a scholarship option so that anyone, regardless of income, can attend.
Community Gardening Program:
• The 25 community gardens in the WCG Network served 1,100 individuals or families, plus an additional 2,000 K-12 students – allowing them to grow their own fresh, organic produce. Fourteen of these gardens are located in low-income neighborhoods in Salt Lake City.
• We helped start six new community or school gardens through the WCG Network.
• We helped start two new community gardens on County property through our “Parks for Produce” Program and added three community gardens on City property through the “Green City Growers” Program.
Youth Gardening Program:
• We provided 1,604 primarily low-income youth with access to healthy, local food; unique outdoor experiences; and organic gardening skills through our youth gardening programs.
Community Education Program:
• We offered 60 "Learn to Grow" workshops, attended by more than 800 people, on topics such as composting, urban chicken care, fall and winter planting, seasonal cooking, and food preservation.
• Our 684 dedicated office, garden, and event volunteers contributed 7,331 hours of service to WCG. The work of our volunteers resulted in the donation of thousands of pounds of produce to local food pantries and the continuation of our eleven gardens to serve the community as beautiful and productive spaces for public horticultural display.