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School and Community Garden Resources

Northwest Michigan School and Community Gardens

To include your school or community garden, e-mail  information about your garden to Diane Connors, Healthy Food For All Policy Specialist at diane@mlui.org.

Community gardens typically have many plots available to “grow your own” or “grow a row” for people in need. These plots are great for people whose yards are too shady for a garden, don’t have land at all, or just want to garden with others. Across the country, community gardens are positive community assets, like parks and bike paths, and often help grow youth leadership and the community economy.

School and Learning Garden Resources

Food Gardens North is a blog developed by Mike Davis, a Master Gardener volunteer, and FoodCorps Service Member Kirsten Gerbatsch for people to learn about food gardens and school garden projects throughout northwest Michigan.

► The Grand Traverse Area Children’s Garden has room for child-raised food and flowers; children’s activities; a clay pizza oven; and a solar calendar to mark the seasons—all right next to the Traverse Area District Library.

► Little Artshram operates a garden and nature camp on the grounds of the Grand Traverse Commons, in Traverse City, that also includes a youth market garden program.

► SEEDS offers after-school enrichment programs, including garden and culinary clubs, for schools in Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee, and Kalkaska counties.

► Institute for Sustainable Living, Art & Natural Design also assists school gardens in Antrim County.

► The Michigan Land Use Institute’s Farm to School Web page at localdifference.org has additional school garden resources.

► C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University also helps local-food-oriented youth, community garden, and farm to school programs.

Community Garden Resources

► Traverse City’s zoning ordinance allows community gardens in all zoning categories, and residents can get city permission to launch communitygardens on city land.

► Here’s another good resource for community planners and other local leaders: American Planning Association Policy Guide on Community and Regional Food Planning.

Regional community garden contacts and related resources include:

► Leelanau County MSU Extension, which coordinates a community garden near Lake Leelanau. Call 231-256-9888 for more information, or email Pam Schmidt Bardenhagen.

► Institute for Sustainable Living, Art, & Natural Design (ISLAND) which is a resource for community and school gardens in Antrim County.

► Grow Benzie, which has greenhouse and garden space off of M-115 between Benzonia and Frankfort, and loads of garden resources and activities.

► Manistee Community Kitchen, which is a nonprofit organization that offers a variety of community garden resources.

► Natural Resources Conservation Service offices, which can provide assistance. Contact Maureen Templeton or Pepper Bromelmeier as a start.

► Wexford County MSU Extension: 231-779-9480, or email here.

Garden Classes and Volunteer Groups

► The Leelanau County MSU Extension office offers master gardener classes and backyard garden classes, and has many master gardeners ready to volunteer their services for your garden project. Call 231-256-9888; or email Pam Schmidt Bardenhagen.

► Institute for Sustainable Living, Art, & Natural Design (ISLAND) has lots of home food production workshops.

Michigan Land Use Institute

148 E. Front Street, Suite 301
Traverse City, MI 49684-5725
p (231) 941-6584 
e comments@mlui.org