WSU Whatcom County Extension

Community First Gardens



Women and Child in Garden


General Information on Community Gardening
American Community Gardening Association
Seattle’s Pea Patch gardens program
Portland, Oregon Community Gardens Program
Vancouver, B.C. demonstration garden
Urban Community Gardens
Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington
University of Maine cooperative Extension Bulletin # 4300
“Organizing Your Community Garden”
Open Lands:  How to Start a Community Garden On A Vacant Lot
Ohio University Cuyahoga County Extension Community Gardening Home Page
Enterprise Foundation’s Neighborhood Green Guide for Community-Based Organization
The American Community Gardening Association’s article on pros & cons of achieving 501(c)3 status
National Gardening Association


Funding Resources and Information

Possible funding sources for the materials and labor needed to set up your community garden space are linked below. Some local sources are also available. Check into the following:


Neighborhood Associations

Post the list of materials and special skills needed to develop your garden space in printed and electronic versions of your neighborhood newsletter, and on your neighborhood website, along with a request for donations of those materials and skilled and non-skilled labor.


Local Businesses

Write a letter requesting specific donations along with a one-page description of the project to present to local businesses. You can request a full or partial (wholesale cost) donation of materials or a small monetary donation. Be sure to have a method to publicly thank the businesses such as a neighborhood newsletter article, a sign posted at the community garden, and/or thank you ads posted on the neighborhood website.


National or Regional Corporations

Local branches of large corporations have established “Giving Programs.” These include the Cherry Point industries, Costco, Walmart and other commercial stores. Once or twice a year they accept requests for monetary assistance for community projects. Contact each corporation for specific information on their schedule and the format and detail of information you need to provide. These companies also appreciate recognition for their donations.
City of Bellingham:  Small and Simple Grants and the Neighborhoods Initiatives Program
Already have!
Whatcom Community Foundation is a public charitable organization created to enrich the quality of life for all residents of Whatcom County, Washington. WCF is both a grantmaker and a vehicle for donors to accomplish their philanthropic dreams.
World Hunger Year Food Security Learning Center
American Community Gardening Association’s article on fundraising.
American Community Gardening Association Rebel Tomato
Urban Community Gardens’ list of organizations that support community gardens in various ways:  with money, tools, seeds, land and information.
The National Gardening Association awards grants to schools and community organizations with child-centered garden programs.  This site offers details about various awards.
The National Gardening Association works with sponsoring companies and organizations to provide in-kind grants to projects that actively engage kids in the garden and improve the quality of life for their communities.
America the Beautiful Fund gives away seeds.
Enterprise Community Partners
Fiskar’s Project Orange Thumb is a grant program that provides community garden groups with tools and materials.
The Foundation Directory includes corporate and private foundations that give grants.
US Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant:  The Community Development Block Grant program provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs.
USDA Community Foods Project Grants is a program to fight food insecurity through developing community food projects that help promote the self-sufficiency of low-income communities.
USEPA Environmental Justice Small Grants Program; the purpose of this grant program is to support and empower communities that are working on local solutions to local environmental and/or public health issues.


Contact Information

For more information, contact Beth Chisholm, CFG Coordinator, at:


WSU Whatcom County Extension, 1000 N. Forest Street, Suite 201, Bellingham, WA 98225, (360) 778-5800, Contact Us