Project Grow's Mission Statement

Project Grow Community Gardens provides the space, education, and inspiration to make organic gardening accessible to all.

Our Roots

Since 1972, Project Grow has been facilitating community gardens throughout Ann Arbor, making it the longest standing community garden organization in the nation. The idea of community gardens, however, dates back even farther.

In the years surrounding the World Wars, citizens in many countries affected by the wars planted vegetables to help make up for food shortages. These "Victory Gardens," as they were often called, found home on public land as their objective was a civic one that supported both the war effort and the troops abroad. Despite their success and popularity,  after the conclusion of World War II when the US has returned to prosperity and surplus, the original community gardens mostly died out.

With the 1970s came new environmental awareness and the resurgence of the ideals of community growing space. In 1972, a group of  Ann Arbor residents organized a handful of gardens that were permitted to use public space. Now, many years later, Project Grow has built upon this foundation and each year facilitates 20 individual sites across the community, providing over 350 individual plots. The organization has also expanded its reach, teaching classes about topics related to vegetable gardening, providing free plots for low income families, and much more. Learn more about Project Grow's full range of activities!

Read a detailed history of Project Grow by an original member.