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American Community Gardening Association Building Healthy Communities Through Community Gardening

"What you're doing here is so very important for the future of our country," asserted First Lady Michelle Obama, on a video message at the opening session of the American Community Gardening Association's (ACGA) 31st Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

This year's ACGA conference, which was held over the first weekend of August, 2010, was themed A Holistic Approach to Building Sustainable & Healthy Communities. Workshops revolved around a variety of contemporary community gardening issues, including 'Building a Farm School Program', 'Rainwater Harvesting' and 'Building and Rebuilding Community through Gardening in the Bronx'. Tours were also organized to various community gardens throughout the city.

"In all of ACGA's classes and workshops" stated Edie Stone, an ACGA Board Member and Director of New York City's Green Thumb Program, "we teach and encourage people to garden organically."

Throughout the three day event, attendees from over 30 states and 5 countries shared and learned from each other's experience and expertise in community-managed green spaces. Participants also came from all facets of the community gardening movement; from horticultural experts, researchers and community leaders, to members of gardening organizations and simply gardening enthusiasts.

By facilitating the continuing expansion of community gardening networks within the United States and beyond, the ACGA stands at the forefront of modern community gardening. "The seeds we [ACGA] distribute are all non-GMO, and in all of our programming we are pro-organic," Stone emphasized.    

Liat Racin is a PhD candidate at King’s College, London. Her research examines the relationship between ethnicity and urban agro-biodiversity in New York City’s community gardens. Liat can be reached by email at
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