WSU Whatcom County Extension

Community First Gardens

What is Community First Gardens?


Community First Gardens started in 2008, as a project of Washington State University Whatcom County Extension, funded by a grant from The Mary Redman Foundation. Our purpose is to partner with Whatcom County residents to help develop community gardens. Interested groups/neighborhoods may apply for partnership by submitting the online application. The application may be found by clicking on the “Apply for Partnership” link.


Community Garden


WSU Whatcom County Extension will provide:

1. A consultant who will work with the selected groups/neighborhoods to:

  • Design the community garden
  • Develop an operational plan
  • Assist in finding resources for garden development
  • Create a budget
  • Support the functioning of the garden, which may include soil consultation, garden layout, selection of plants and seeds, watering recommendations, harvest schedule, garden maintenance recommendations, etc.
  • Assist in developing connections with Master Gardeners, particularly as advisors on the above-mentioned functioning of the garden. The Master Gardeners may become involved only as advisors and cannot be responsible for maintenance. However, CF!G hopes to foster a mentoring relationship between Master Gardeners who live in the selected neighborhood, and other gardeners in that neighborhood.
  • Encourage and facilitate discussions between with the selected community garden projects and other neighborhoods that are interested in developing their own community gardens.

2. Funding up to $5,000.00 may be available for garden development, to be negotiated upon acceptance of the design and operational plans. No part of this grant may be used for wages or salary.

3. Advocacy for community gardens with city government.

4. Web-based and other information on community gardening.

5. Documentation of the garden development and operation on our website.

6. Community education on neighborhood gardens, which might include speakers to specific groups, community forums, articles, etc.

The selected groups/neighborhoods will provide:


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