Gardening the Community was started in 2002 by Betsy Corner, the former social Justice coordinator for the Northeast Organic Farming Association, and Ruby S. Maddox a Springfield resident. The program recruited and employed neighborhood youth to grow fruits and vegetables on abandoned and vacant lots in the city of Springfield. The food was sold at local markets and donated to food shelters.
In 2005, led by Springfield resident, Kristen Brennan, Gardening the Community began fostering principles of sustainable living through biking produce to markets, and using rain buckets and other structures to capture rain water for irrigation. The program also began to focus on using more “people power” versus gas power to work the land.
Gardening the Community continues to work with the City to expand the availability of urban garden space and promote urban agriculture in the city of Springfield.