Mission, Goals and Philosophy:
The Niles Community Gardens provides earth-friendly garden space to educate, to share with and to connect our community through the cultivation of fresh produce.
-Provide affordable access for community garden space
-Educate our community about the science of gardening and the benefits of fresh produce
-Share excess produce with the larger community
-Connect families and individuals to each other and their food through gardening
Locations: We currently have 4 gardens sites scattered throughout the city of Niles. Sites include: Northside School, Holy Trinity Church, Ballard School and the Westside Administration Building.
Sites: Each site has both communal gardens (shared space) and plots for individual gardeners. The fee for gardening is $30 for communal gardening only, $35 for communal gardening and one 10' x 10' individual plot, $40 for communal gardening and one 10' x 20' individual plot. Additional plots may be available at $20 / 10' x 10' plot NCG wants to encourage full participation throughout the city. We do not want the fee to be a barrier to participation, so all or a portion of the fee may be waved in cases of hardship.. If you are interested in joining a particular garden or if you would like to schedule a tour, please email the garden coordinator. Out of respect for our hardworking gardeners, please do not enter the gardens without contacting a coordinator first. Thank you!
Responsibilities: Each individual gardener is responsible for planting and maintaining his or her assigned areas. Those gardening communally are required to put in regular hours each week. It is generally felt that a minimum of two hours a week will keep an individual plot in good shape. The same commitment is expected of communal gardeners. However, there are times when the needs are greater and it is expected that all can help with the additional duties. Individual gardeners provide their own seeds and plants. Generally, seeds and plants are provided in the communal areas. There is flexibility due to time of year and other commitments. Good communication with the individual garden coordinator is the best practice.
Coordinator: Each garden has a coordinator who is responsible for overall organization of the garden. This person coordinates work assignments and assists individual gardeners when there are questions or concerns. The coordinator serves on the Board of Niles Community Gardens and gives a voice to all of their gardeners' concerns. If the coordinator cannot be present at a Board meeting, a gardener will vote in the coordinator's place.
Mentoring: NCG seeks to spread joy of gardening through the provision of gardening space, water and knowledge. We will try to pair new gardeners with experienced gardeners as mentors. Generally, all are willing to share their joy and knowledge of gardening.
Sharing: A key part of the work of NCG is to provide surplus food from the gardens to the food banks in the Niles area. Sharing of our produce extends the resources of these food programs. It is up to each individual and group to decide how it will be shared.
We of the Niles Community Gardens are pleased with the interest, support and participation from the Niles community in this project. Gardening makes good sense, providing healthy food! Sharing knowledge and produce creates a positive atmosphere for people to gather and commit to a common goal. We look forward to the successes of another growing year!