Urban Growing and Gardening

Learn about some ways to get growing in the City

Green Thumb

GreenThumb is the largest community gardening program in the country, with over 500 member gardens and approximately 20,000 volunteer gardeners residents. GreenThumb provides materials and technical assistance to community gardeners throughout all five boroughs. You can join or volunteer at your local community garden. 
 The New York City Housing Authority's Garden and Greening Program provides year-round technical assistance and other resources to thousands of residents across the City's 328 public housing developments. Garden and Greening supports over 700 gardens and three urban farms.   

School Gardens

Grow to Learn is New York City's city-wide school gardens initiative, established in 2010 as a public-private partnership between GrowNYC, the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, and several government agency partners.  Grow to Learn provides coordination, collaboration and communication with government agencies, non-profits, private corporations, teachers, schools, parents, kids and individuals who impact or want to support public school gardens.
Grow to Learn strives to see that every New York City public school student has the opportunity to get their hands into the soil -- and learn and grow. There are now nearly 800 school gardens registered with Grow to Learn across all five boroughs!

NYC Farm to School

NYC Farm to School Program (NYCFTS), formerly Garden to Café, helps develop a student’s curiosity about food, nutrition, and the various ways food is grown through school gardens, lunchtime tastings, and classroom lessons. NYCFTS works with NYC’s public and charter schools in all five boroughs, from elementary to high school, including students with special needs (District 75) and those who are at-risk (District 79). The program currently has over 140 schools registered, serving 73,517 students.  

The collaboration with the American Farmland Trust’s Farm to Institute New York State (FTS) and the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Food and Nutrition (OFNS) supported the creation of a Farm to School team. The goals of the FTS team include: 

  • Increasing the volume and variety of local farm products procured by OFNS. 
  • Encouraging an ever-increasing demand for fresh fruits and vegetables from our students citywide. 
  • Continue building a learning connection and partnerships between NYS farmers and NYC schools.