Mission

Our mission: Growing food and community to build a multigenerational movement for change.

In the 1970s, a smaller community garden sat where the Kelly Street Garden is today. Back then, the constant presence of children gave life to the garden, where neighbors chatted while tending their vegetable plots. As housing conditions worsened and the block fell to violent crime and drugs in the ensuing decades, people stayed indoors or moved out. The garden, which had been a vibrant place for community life, went dormant.

The Kelly Street Garden got a jolt of new life in June 2014 with the rehabilitation of five multifamily buildings on the block. Some of the original residents who planted the first seedlings back in the 1970s were there to witness its re-opening and seed the first crop. Now, their grandchildren are the ones playing in the garden.

The garden’s restoration is nod to the strong community ties and enduring grassroots efforts that helped sustain a sense of community and civic life on the block. We now use the garden to grow food as well as community, keeping it alive for the next generation and furthering the physical and social transformation of Kelly Street. For more information on how we work to accomplish our mission, read more about what we do.

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Circa 1970: a Kelly Street resident plants a seed at the community garden. Photo courtesy of Robert Foster, Kelly St. resident.

September 2014: a newly painted sign welcomes visitors to the Kelly Street Garden. Photo courtesy of Sasha Phyars-Burgess.

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Fall 2014: a new young gardener helps plant cover crops for the cold season. Photo courtesy of Rosalba Lopez Ramirez.