Community Greening

Community Greening is a non-profit program that aims to connect people with new skills, environmental sustainability, and each other. Learn more about the benefits and how you can get involved.  

group planting vegetables

What is Community Greening?

Through a community of people, plants, and places, Community Greening fosters idea exchange, knowledge sharing, collaboration, empowerment, and celebration of our connection to the natural world. We build green spaces with communities to foster physical and mental health while strengthening the connections between people and their local environment. The program focuses on the healing qualities of therapeutic horticulture, beautifying spaces, empowering individuals, and connecting people to their communities.

These programs have a direct impact on mental and physical health. A sense of empowerment and pride and positive safety and education messages are being taught too.

Phil Pettitt, Community Greening Manager, Botanic Gardens of Sydney

Community Greening is one of the Botanic Gardens’ most awarded non-profit outreach programs. It empowers vulnerable people and communities to get involved in a community gardening project in their area and provides valuable health, training, economic and social benefits to disadvantaged communities across New South Wales. 

How Community Greening programs change lives

Well, I know with me, I feel like I'm part of the community now, and I didn't feel like I was a part of it until now.

Community Greening Participant

Many people from low socio-economic backgrounds are less likely to visit green spaces. This is often due to poor maintenance of public spaces, inadequate facilities, and safety concerns. Our Community Greening programs are vital to help:

  • Physical health: Gardening is a physical activity that helps to improve strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health.
  • Mental health: Gardening can be a relaxing and therapeutic activity that can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase feelings of social connection and well-being.
  • Environmental benefits: Community gardens can help to promote environmental sustainability by providing locally grown food, conserving natural resources, and promoting biodiversity.
  • Community building: Community gardens can bring people together and strengthen social bonds, leading to a sense of community ownership and pride.
  • Education and skill development: Greening programs provide opportunities to learn about gardening, plant care, and the environment, and can help people to develop horticultural skills.
  • Access to fresh food: Community gardens can provide locally grown, fresh produce for members of the community, which can be particularly beneficial for those with limited access to fresh, healthy food. 

Discover the personal impact on participants

A 2018 survey of 69 participants from 6 Community Greening programs by Western Sydney University’s Centre for Educational Research reveals:

  • 85% say it has a positive effect on their health 
  • 91% say it had a positive effect on their community 
  • 73% are exercising more 
  • 61% are eating better.

How you can support or access Community Greening

Community Greening has touched countless lives with projects flourishing in areas including Bourke, Kempsey, Illawarra, Taree, Albury, Griffith, Lismore, and Inverell. But the demand for Community Greening continues to grow.

Make a Community Greening donation

Your personal or corporate donation will change lives by helping us to deliver 850 gardens and engage 150,000 participants by 2023.

Involved in specialised aged care or homelessness services?

Read about Community Greening and Mission Australia's Benjamin Short Grove aged care facility that won the Australian Institute of Horticulture Green Space Regional Award for creating an inviting and interactive garden for the residents to connect.

Working with youth?

Youth Community Greening is an environmental education program targeting disadvantaged urban and regional youth from preschool to young adults across NSW.  

Child and adult planting seedlings

Youth Community Greening

an environmental education program targeting disadvantaged urban and regional youth from preschool to young adults
Read about Youth Community Greening

Thank you to our valued partners and supporters

Community Greening is proudly sponsored by NSW Department of Communities and Justice and endorsed by Parks and Leisure Australia, The Australian Institute of Horticulture, The Urban Developer and Keep Australia Beautiful.

Learn about greening your own space

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Discover how gardening has been beneficial in our community gardeners' lives.
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Learn how to effectively grow your favourite plants while reducing water usage.
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Vegetables, annuals, and perennials that are perfect for sowing in Spring.