Community Garden Support & Training
SFC's Grow Local helps Central Texas residents start and sustain community gardens by providing education, consultation, and fiscal sponsorship. A community garden is a parcel of land cooperatively gardened by a group of people. These gardens offer individuals and families a place to grow their own healthy food—especially those who don’t have space at home.
Nestled into properties like parks, recreation centers, and apartment complexes, community gardens transform underutilized lots into vibrant neighborhood gathering spaces. They create opportunities for neighbors to collaborate and form lifelong friendships.
Want to join a community garden?
See the map below to find the community garden closest to you (be sure that the “Community Gardens” layer is selected). To contact a garden, find its profile on the Coalition of Austin Community Gardens website. Garden leaders will be able to tell you if space is available and whether there is a fee to participate. If you don’t find a community garden near you, or if the gardens in your area are full, consider teaming up with neighbors to start your own!
Whether you hope to strengthen an existing community garden or start a new one, SFC's Grow Local provides the following:
Trainings and Resources
- Garden Leadership Training. Offered twice a year in the fall and spring, this two-part training guides new and experienced gardeners through the process of organizing, managing, and sustaining a school or community garden. (see SFC’s Classes page)
- Building Strong Garden Teams Training. Offered each spring, this two-part training focuses on strategies for successful collaboration, including how to make decisions as a group and how to draw the best from diverse personalities and leadership styles to build strong teams. (see SFC’s Classes page)
- SFC’s free Community Garden Leadership Training Resource Guide, available in both English and Spanish, includes a wealth of information on topics including community organizing, finding and managing funding, and working as a team. In the guide you’ll find sample language for garden guidelines, signage, donation request letters, and more.
- SFC's public food gardening classes. Advance your gardening skills.
- Coalition of Austin Community Gardens Resources Webpage. Explore this page to find community garden-relevant resources from SFC, the City of Austin, and other local entities, including educational opportunities, free and low-cost resources, and where to donate harvest.
- Consultation: We offer consultation on organizing, planning, building, and using school gardens. Please call or email us using the contact information below.
- Free Gardening Supplies for Low-Income Gardeners: Gardeners who fall within 275% of the Federal Poverty Guideline are eligible to enroll in SFC’s Spread the Harvest program to receive free seeds, transplants, compost, and fertilizer.
- Starting a Garden: To get started, work through SFC’s Community Garden Planning Worksheet and enroll in an upcoming Community Garden Leadership Training. If you are looking to start a community garden on City-owned land, visit the City of Austin’s Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Community Garden program webpage to learn about the process. Remember: the foundational elements of a successful community garden are a strong team and an invested community!
- Funding: Download the Funding Opportunities PDF on our Grow Local page and apply for a grant. We are happy to review your application.
- Volunteers: Need volunteers for an upcoming workday? Let us know, and we will share your volunteer requests with our community of SFC volunteers.
Collaboration and Advocacy
As our city grows, strong advocates are needed to ensure we save space for community gardens. The Coalition of Austin Community Gardens was formed in 2008 to serve this role and to provide a communication and support network for community gardeners. CACG members work to promote the stability and propagation of community gardens in Austin through advocacy and gardener education opportunities. To get involved, attend a CACG meeting (visit the CACG Latest webpage to find out the date of the next meeting). You can also follow CACG activities and announcements on Facebook and by signing up for the CACG Google group.
To learn more, see Frequently Asked Questions list.
Sari Albornoz, Grow Local Program Director