About Springfield Community Gardens
Springfield Community Gardens builds neighborhood gardens where people grow and talk about healthy, local food. We are a grassrootsgrass-roots, volunteer-led organization comprised of every generation and walk of life ranging from the homeless, college students, military veterans and retired professionals. We are a group of volunteers who believe in growing healthy food and hanging out with our neighbors in order to create a city that values a sense of place centered on a local food culture. We know we can’t do it on our own, so we’ve created strong partnerships with solid organizations that believe in our mission and have a complementary vision.
To create gardens that strengthen neighborhoods where people grow healthy relationships, food, and community.
We envision a community where everyone has access to healthy, local food.
How We Got Started
Springfield Community Gardens (SCG) began when a small group of residents, MSU urban planning students and young professionals joined together with the idea of forming a community garden in the Grant Beach Neighborhood. Construction began in 2011 with the assistance of the Springfield-Greene County Parks Department and the City’s Planning and Neighborhoods Office.
In 2014, the Grant Beach Garden produced 2,000 lbs of fresh produce. Since then, SCG has experienced explosive growth and we are planting gardens throughout the city.
The Work We’ve Done
Since our inception, we have grown to twenty gardens and have created even more partnerships. In addition to providing land leases, water, insurance and technical support for community gardens, we also have several worthwhile programs. These include our literacy program Grow to Ride that in partnership with Valley Water Mill Equestrian Center lets kids ride horses and garden--and the Grant Beach Produce Distribution in which we partner with OFH to donate large amounts of produce. So far in 2016, we have already donated 76,000 pounds of produce to food insecure neighbors!
Some of Our Partners
Springfield Greene County Health Department
City of Springfield Neighborhood Planning
Community Foundation of the Ozarks
Community Partnership of the Ozarks
Ozarks Food Harvest
Grant Beach Neighborhood Association
Springfield Greene County Park Board
Habitat for Humanity
What We Envision
One day, we want fruit trees in parks designated specifically as food forests, thornless blackberries along sidewalks making up food corridors where people walk, cargo bikes moving food from garden-to-garden in the city, and lots of art and entertainment in our community gardens. We know that growth must be incremental and asset-based, so we build up communities and encourage connection to one another; a focus that not only empowers individuals, but also creates a context based on particular demographics, strengths, needs, and personalities of each individual neighborhood hub.
Because it is the part of our City that has the greatest need, Zone 1 has been an area of focus for our organization since 2010. We have five concentrated community gardens there: Midtown; The Kitchen; Rare Breed; The Fairbanks; and The Grant Beach Garden. The Grant Beach Garden is the hub of our pilot produce distribution program, and it has a community center, The Fairbanks that focuses specifically on health and wellness.