Q. How do I get more people involved in my community garden?
Here are suggestions from staff here at PHS who work with community gardens.
First, have you talked to your fellow members of the community garden and asked them for their thoughts on how to get new members?
Has your group figured out how many plots will be available to new members? (or how many new gardeners your garden can accommodate?)
Does your group have written garden guidelines for new gardeners to be familiar with, on how the garden operates? (See Community Garden Toolkits for examples of garden guidelines. )
· Create a flyer that can be posted on the garden fence and given to local churches, stores.
· Do a Facebook notice of available plots.
Once you make contact with potential gardeners, create an interview/selection process for potential gardeners with your current gardening group. Have a defined timeline for selection of new gardeners.
More resources and suggstions:
Look into taking our Garden Tenders course. While it is geared toward groups who wish to start a garden from scratch, it also covers strategies for recruiting and keeping volunteers, assessing and finding resources in your neighborhood, planting and garden maintenance, and forming partnerships. More information on Garden Tenders here. This page on our web site also has a link to a map of Philadelphia community gardens, with contact information. There may be gardens close by that you can work with.
Indentify other neighborhood groups you can connect with, and reach out to them. These may be church, school or civic groups. In addition to Garden Tenders, we have Tree Tenders – citizen stewardship groups interested in caring for trees in their neighborhoods. These volunteers may also be interested in working with you. See our web site for more information on Tree Tenders and click on the Tree Tenders maps link for nearby groups.
We have online subject guides produced by our librarians that you may want to look at, for more suggestions. These information guides include books and websites on their topic.