About Us

Mission…

The mission of Community Gardens of Chester County is to improve the quality of life for low-income county residents through community gardening and greening.  

History and background…

Community Gardens of Chester County (CGCC) was created in February, 1999 out of concern for the many hungry and isolated people in our seemingly affluent community. Based on the old, proven practice of neighbors gardening together to produce food and an aesthetic, healthy environment, the program works with low-income residents and garden volunteers to plan, build, maintain and harvest community gardens.

CGCC is a project of Resources for Human Development, Inc. (RHD), a non-profit organization overseeing human service programs in the greater Philadelphia area. A full-time director, seasonal garden assistant and a local advisory committee lead CGCC with assistance from Penn State Master Gardeners, garden clubs and community volunteers.  

Objectives…

Build community through positive social interaction
Provide fresh produce and food to limited budgets
Beautify low-income neighborhoods
Develop individual skills, leadership, self-confidence and self-sufficiency
Improve and protect the environment
Educate gardeners about botany and horticulture
Enhance physical and mental health through positive recreation

Description of the program…

Through written materials and “hands-on” instruction, neighborhoods learn to build, maintain and harvest their own gardens as well as clean-up and beautify their own neighborhoods with plants. Garden projects are designed and directed by the residents with input from staff and garden volunteers. The program provides garden design and horticultural instruction as well as initial garden supplies. Staff and volunteers work alongside the neighbors as they build their gardens, but the neighbors themselves determine what, when, where and how the gardens develop.

Local leadership…

The CGCC Advisory Committee is composed of  22 diverse, dynamic members who represent the fabric of the Chester County Community, including gardeners, garden volunteers and representatives from community organizations. Their purpose is to assess the needs of the community, help determine program policy, assist in fundraising and act as program liaisons to the community at large.

Location…

Community Gardens of Chester County currently works with 51 garden projects throughout the county. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provides office space for us in its Embreeville Complex off W. Strasburg Rd. in Embreeville, PA.