Community Gardens Program

(The Gallucci Learning Garden)

What is a Community Garden?

The American Community Gardening Association uses a broad definition of what a community garden entails. It can be urban, suburban, or rural. It can grow flowers, vegetables or community. It can be one community plot, or can be many individual plots. It can be at a school, hospital, or in a neighborhood. Another way of thinking about community gardens are as “Community-managed open space”. They are different from a park or public space where some other entity ultimately decides the purpose and maintains the site. Community gardens are where the residents of a community are empowered to design, build and maintain spaces in the community.

Why Community Gardens?

Community Gardens…

  • Build stronger and safer communities
  • Neighborhoods with successful gardens are also:
  • Combat food insecurity (quantity and quality)
  • Build on the resources of cities, towns and the county to deal with urban problems
  • Fight climate change by reducing the distance food travels (reduce carbon footprint)
  • Improve the local economy
  • Improve community health – through better nutrition and physical activity
  • Create “Social Capital”

(Green Thumb Community Garden)

Who we are/what we do:

While Community Gardening has been an activity enjoyed by residents of Tacoma and Pierce County for decades, the Tacoma/Pierce County Community Garden program was founded in 2010 through a collaborative effort led by the ACHIEVE coalition. The City of Tacoma took leadership role in creating a position to support the efforts of community gardeners county-wide. Initially housed at Forterra (formerly the Cascade Land Conservancy) as a pilot project, in 2012 the program was established as a permanent project of the Pierce Conservation District. We are supported by a diversity of community partners, including the City of Tacoma, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities, Metro Parks Tacoma, the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

The program works to support gardeners throughout the county in several ways:

  • Building a Culture of Community Gardening in Tacoma/Pierce County
  • Building the Capacity of Community gardeners to develop, organize and manage community gardens and mentor each other for success.
  • Creating a strong network for increased food access.
  • Building an educational program capable of providing relevant, accessible education on topics related to community gardening.

(Green Thumb Community Garden - Opening Ceremony)

About Us

Foster and sustain a culture of community gardening throughout Pierce County through community building, education, advocacy and celebration.

A thriving Community Garden culture that brings people and neighborhoods together through gardening and food – to share, grow, and celebrate secure, healthy and happy communities.

Kristen McIvorCommunity Garden Program Manager
(253) 363-1846

Micaela CooleyShare the Harvest Program Coordinator
(253) 306-3457

Emily Garofalo - Fruit Tree Steward Coordinator
(253) 468-3749

Matt PriceHarvest Against Hunger Gleaning Coordinator
(253) 282-8910

Steering Committee
Joe Brady
Tacoma Metro Parks

Kathleen MacGuire
Tacoma Pierce County Health Dept.

Stephanie Leisle (Chair)
Pierce County Public Works

Ryan Mello
Pierce Conservation District

Stephanie Cholmondeley
Tillicum Community Garden

Hal Meng
Franklin Park & Pt. Defiance-Ruston Sr. Cntr

Barbara Menne
Junett Community Garden

Andy Mordhorst
Manito Community Garden

Scott Seitz
University Place Community Garden

Monty Smith (Vice-chair)
Northwest Leadership Foundation

Dan Thompson (Chair – membership subcommittee)
City of Tacoma

Kerri Wilson
WSU Master Gardner Program

• City of Tacoma
• Pierce County Public Works
• Metro Parks Tacoma
• Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
• Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department Supporters
• Multicare
• Gardensphere
• McClendons

•Find a Community Garden
•Start a Community Garden
Organizing the garden
Find a site
Design a garden
Building the garden
•Resources for Gardeners
•Resources for Food Banks
•Where to Donate
•Program History
•Farm Glean Program
•Fruit Tree Program
•Edible Garden Workshops
•Gallucci Learning Garden
•WSU Master Gardener Community Garden Specialist
•Community Events
•Why Community Gardens?
•Community Garden
Development Procedures
•Starter Questions
•Share the Harvest
Training Manual
•Where to Donate
•Edible Garden (brochure)
•Compost (brochure)