Community Gardening Program

The GardenWorks Project 2018 Community Gardening Program 

This year, The GardenWorks Project is initiating new programs to empower home and suburban food growers by practicing and teaching organic and sustainable methods, promoting community gardens, and providing access to resources. It is our vision that everyone in our community grows and eats fresh, local and healthy foods. By growing food together, we can make that vision a reality.

To further increase the supply of local foods in our communities, The GardenWorks Project will support those community gardens which have as one of their objectives growing food for donation to an area food pantry. In addition to access to our educational programs (including a new class on how to start a community garden) and tool lending library, GardenWorks will offer support to new and existing community gardens. Each will receive:

  • 5 handmade, 4’ x 8’ x 8” cedar raised-bed frames
  • 50 free seed packets
  • 50% off seedlings at our Spring Seedling Sale (May 19th, West Chicago)
  • Free seedlings when available after our spring garden installs
  • 20% off additional raised-bed garden frames available for sale at our Resource Center
  • Access to list of grant opportunities from other sources
  • A copy of Start a Community Food Garden: The Essential Handbook, by local expert LaManda Joy
  • Free attendance to all GardenWorks Project educational offerings
  • Consulting assistance with starting or expanding a community garden, and postings to our team of volunteers to help
    build or maintain the garden
  • A list of area pantries who will accept homegrown produce and tips on donating (i.e., harvesting, storing and transporting)

Important Notes

• Community garden must be within DuPage County or a town directly adjacent to DuPage County.
• A portion of produce grown must be donated to a local food pantry, and the group must report the amount donated (in lbs.) to GardenWorks at the end of the season.
• Preference will be given to garden programs which prohibit non-organic chemical fertilizers.
• Participants will submit a grant report at the end of the season, and photos at the beginning, middle and end of the
• Participants will publicly recognize participation in the GardenWorks Community Gardening Program (e.g., press
release, social media, newsletter).
• Participants will host, if requested, a site visit by GardenWorks Project staff or a volunteer.
• Please note that support does not cover the cost of soil to fill the raised-beds.

Applications were due March 15, 2018 at midnight, and five applicants will be selected and informed of awards by April 1, 2018. Materials will be available within the month of May, and community gardens will be installed no later than May 31, 2018. For more information, questions, or concerns, please email

Important Dates 2018

February 1                  Program information released to public

March 7                      Community Gardening Workshop

March 15                    Applications due by midnight

April 1                        Participants will be selected and all applicants will be notified

Congratulations to our 2018 Community Garden Support Program recipients! 

Western Dupage Special Recreation Association
Lisle Township Food Pantry Garden
Park View Elementary School-Lombard
Gary Memorial United Methodist Church
DuPage Habitat for Humanity

April 15                      Raised beds will be available for pickup from The GardenWorks Project
                                   Suburban Agriculture Resource Center at 103 W. Washington St., West
                                   Chicago (inside Gallery 200)

May 19                      Seed and seedling pickup at The GardenWorks Project Suburban Agriculture Resource Center

May 31                      Installation of community garden complete