Community Gardens of Tucson

Our Gardens

If no site coordinator is listed, call the office at 795-8823.

Apollo Garden (South)
265 W. Nebraska St.
Near Irvington & 12th Ave.
Site Coordinator – Katie Gannon
ktgannon@gmail.com

Arizona’s Children Association Garden (South)
2700 S. 8th Ave.
Near 36th St. & 6th Ave.

Benedictine Monastery Garden
(Midtown – closest to UofA)
800 N. Country Club Rd.
Near Speedway & Country Club
Site Coordinator – Carol Shumaker
cashu2@hotmail.com

Blue Moon Garden
(at the Tucson House)
1501 N. Oracle Rd.
Near Oracle & Drachman
Site Coordinator – Dorothy Weichbrod
dorothyweichbrod@yahoo.com

Challenger Garden (South)
100 E. Elvira Street
6th Ave. & Valencia

Chaverim Garden (Eastside)
5901 E. 2nd St.
Near Speedway & Craycroft

Site Coordinators – Susan and Richard Dick
susandick4094@gmail.com
Chaverim Garden is on the grounds of the Chaverim Congregation. It was started because some members of the church were interested in a place to to grow some of their own food. One of them knew of George Brookbank and turned to him for help and advice in starting a new community garden, so the garden was a CGT garden from its beginning, first opening for gardeners in September 2003.
The original garden offered 18 plots in two rows of nine each. The first gardeners were a combination of church members and folks from the neighborhood. Because of increasing interest, in subsequent years it was expanded – first to 22 plots by adding two plots to each of the original two rows, and later to 31 plots by adding a third row of nine plots’
When Chaverim and other early gardens were started, plots were not pre-excavated by a back hoe. Gardeners joining a new garden had to dig out their own plots by hand. When the original Chaverim gardeners began digging, asphalt paving was discovered 6 to 8 inches below the surface of the soil! The garden area had evidently been previously used for overflow parking from the auto repair business next door, and part of it had been paved over. Later unimproved “fill soil” had been brought in and spread over the paving. New gardeners who neglected to dig down and chip the asphalt out by hand and dispose of it found that their crops rotted instead of growing, because their roots sat in water that the asphalt prevented from percolating downward.
The third row of plots also offered its first gardeners challenges. It was pre-dug for them by a back hoe, but it was created on what had been a court for pitching horseshoes, so the top many inches of soil was pure sand that had been brought in and spread over the original dirt.
Chaverim gardeners’ great success these days is thanks to both groups of its early “pioneers” who were determined and patient people, chipping out that subterranean asphalt layer by hand, hauling away the sand and building up the native soil with plenty of manure and mulch, and continuing to enrich the soil in all the plots over the years, making Chaverim Garden the beautifully productive patch of earth on which to grow food that it has become today.

Davidson Garden (Midtown)
3950 E. Paradise Falls Dr.
Fort Lowell. & Alvernon
Site Coordinator – Lisa Falk
lisafalk12@gmail.com

Doolen Garden (Midtown)
2400 N. Country Club
Grant & Country Club
Site Coordinator – Grace Lena
grace.lena@tusd1.org

GD2 (Midtown)
Near Swan & Grant
Site Coordinator – LaRae Barnes
laraebarnes@yahoo.com

GD2 came into existence about March 2011 with the encouragement and support of the Garden District Neighborhood. Protected by a high wall and locking iron gate, it might be difficult to see the abundant harvests and peaceful surroundings but there is much learning, support and encouragement happening within the enclosure. So far there are 22 plots on site. Trees, along with donated picnic tables, allow shaded areas for meetings and a pleasant environment to exchange of ideas and plans. Abundant crops have allowed for much contribution to the Food Pantry. Generous neighbors pay plot fees for some of the refugee community in our neighborhood. Our property owner provided a shed for tool storage and even has a little patio extension with Adirondack chair perfect for an afternoon snooze when the temperature permits. Our monthly meetings are the first Saturday of the month, we welcome visitors.

Highland Vista Garden (Eastside)
5300 E. 7th St.
Near 5th St. & Craycroft

Site Coordinator – Natalie Shepp
natalie.shepp@hotmail.com
The Highland Vista Community Garden is located in the Highland Vista neighborhood between Broadway and 5th Street and Craycroft and Rosemont. Literally and figuratively, this garden is part of the “heart” of our community, as it lies right in the center of our neighborhood and is situated directly next to the neighborhood’s community pool and the Highland Vista park. These features, enclosed by a lovely ½ mile walking/jogging path, are the community gathering spots, where neighbors can say hi, let their kids or dogs play, and share veggies or recipes (or both). This garden has 17 plots, with enough room for a couple of picnic tables shaded by a beautiful (if messy) eucalyptus tree. In addition, our garden has a small shed, donated by The Shed Shoppe, and a small herb garden for all of the gardeners to share. The garden is enclosed with a chain link fence that was donated by a neighbor. We added a small hedgerow of hopseed bush along the edge of some the fence line, while leaving the remainder open to display our beautiful bounty. This once barren piece of land with terrible soil is now a lush oasis for our gardeners and neighbors to admire. The neighbors are always amazed at how well we have been able to grow in an area that was once so devoid of life. Most of the gardeners reside in the neighborhood, but a few come from other locations. We are so pleased to have this wonderful space to grow fresh produce and get to know our community a little better.

Homer Davis Garden (Northwest)
4250 N. Romero
Near Romero & Whetmore
Site Coordinator – Terrie Kenison
eminkar44@gmail.com

I can’t begin to tell you how much fun and relaxation I have had planting, watering, and watching my little seeds grow into yummy vegetables. I watered my seeds every day for the first two weeks and then have dropped down to a visit once or twice a week. A week in between checking can make so much difference! I have documented every step of the way with photos and articles from the newspaper. Several times the YES after school program has visited my garden plot and we have shared micro greens of lettuce, onions, and turnips! The carrots are still about as big as toothpicks, but they are growing. On Thanksgiving Friday I had my first bowl of cooked turnip greens (they taste like spinach)! Yummy! Then I have eaten several salads with my lettuce leaves. Soon I will be harvesting carrots and onions and spinach! Everything has been provided for us except our seeds/plants, time, elbow grease, and a heart prepared to be amazed at what happens when you plant a tiny seed into the ground, water it, and watch it grow.

Keeling Garden (Midtown)
2919 N. Los Altos
Near Fort Lowell & First Ave.

Site Coordinator – Denise Plaza
denise.plaza2011@gmail.com
Keeling garden is a relatively new garden in the CGT network. It was established in early spring of 2009 on land generously donated by the owners of the St. Germain Foundation, just blocks away from Keeling Elementary school in central Tucson. A great deal of sweat was invested by gardeners and volunteers digging the plots. At one time there was a home on the site, and some gardeners found themselves digging in a former leaching field and unearthing old foundation. Now that the excavation is done, the garden is teaming with all kinds of vegetables and fruits year round. It did not take long for the 20 plots to fill up and at this writing there is only one available. A unique feature of this garden is the ocotillo ramada that Nancy Reid and some volunteers built to provide shade for our monthly meetings. This spring, the ramada bloomed flaming orange, a special event that we hope will happen again.

L&K Gin Family Garden (West)
1401 N. Riverview
Near Speedway & I-10
Site Coordinator – Sandy Guntner
sguntner@cox.net

The idea for the Gin Family Gardens and Play Space was conceived by the Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) to make a positive impact on the lives of the SCC corps-members and surrounding communities. This initiative was fueled by the concept that a community could be enhanced through growing food responsibly and collaboratively. A partnership was formed with Josie Gin and Carl Morgan, who donated land in the El Rio Acres neighborhood to use for the garden.
The United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona had been discussing the need for a natural, outdoor play space, and approached SCC to collaborate and develop the garden project into something with increased community appeal and vibrancy. Over the last 30 years, the prevalence of obesity has almost tripled in children and adolescents. The United Way wished to address this issue by creating a play space that would provide a positive environment in which neighborhood children could interact socially with others as well as engage in physical activity. This endeavor was funded by a Pima County Communities Putting Prevention to Work Grant.
Through the partnership of SCC and the United Way, the initial garden plans were revised in order to incorporate various play elements for children, including youth garden beds, balancing logs, boulders, and more. The partnership was then further extended to involve the United Way’s C-CORE (Construction Coaching Opportunities to Reach Employment) program, by providing volunteer opportunities and work experience to young adults by involving them in the creation and installation of primary elements of the garden space. Thus, the L&K Gin Family Garden and Play Space began to take shape and flourish.

Mansfield Garden (Midtown)
2000 N. 4th Ave.
Near Grant St. & 6th Ave.
Site Coordinators – Nicholas Siemsen and Bonnie Goble
goblesiemsen@hotmail.com

Mary Meredith (Duffy) Garden (East)
755 N. Magnolia
Near 5th St. & Swan

Site Coordinator – Christine Behling
coldwaterscuba@gmail.com
The Mary Meredith/Duffy NH Garden was founded in May of 2011 when green space from former Duffy Elementary School was re-allocated to Mary Meredith K-12 School for joint use with the surrounding neighborhoods. The garden features 16 community plots and six plots for use by students and staff of Mary Meredith K-12 School. Students at the school have enjoyed the winter planting experience and are anxious to watch and see their crops grow. The school/community garden is situated next to a ramada with benches, a fruit tree orchard and a mesquite/acacia bosque. All of this provides an excellent place for people from the school and community to come together, garden, and enjoy a beautiful, peaceful corner of east-central Tucson.

Mountain Vista UU Garden (Northwest)
3601 W. Cromwell
Near Ina & Thornydale

Site Coordinator – Tracie D. Bunker-Metz
davina107@gmail.com
This is the “new” garden designed in the middle of a beautiful desert area, property of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation. The garden is located at 3601 W. Cromwell Drive just off Thornydale. It is actually hidden, as one cannot see it from the road. There is a little dirt path that leads up to the garden area where there are trees, cactus, rabbits, birds and “quiet”. Before going through the gate to the actual garden plots, there is an area with a little fish pond (or a watering hole for the birds) and flagstone benches to sit on. (Two picnic tables with benches are also there.) It is heavenly to come early in the morning with a cup of coffee and just sit and meditate, enjoying the peace and the beauty of nature. Then, I unlock the garden gate and begin my garden chores.

New Spirit Garden (Southeast)
8701 E. Old Spanish Trail
Near Camino Seco & Old Spanish Trail

Karen McWhirter
karen@mcwhirter.net

Nottinghill Garden (Midtown)
2660 N. Alvernon
Near Alvernon & Glenn
Site Coordinator – Mariya Ruiz
patpruiz@yahoo.com

Presidio Garden (Midtown)
Near Fort Lowell & Country Club
Site Coordinator – Shirley McReynolds
shirleymcro@gmail.com
Presidio garden is located in the Cabrini neighborhood, in the vicinity of Ft. Lowell and Country Club. It is behind a private residence so is not visible from the street. Parking is also available off the street. The neighborhood is family oriented and normally quiet. The homeowners, who live on the property, are very friendly and accommodating. The garden itself contains 35 plots, each 3’ x 20’. There are two nice size mesquite trees within the garden boundaries, which provide shade for picnic tables but do not interfere with any of the active plots. The shed provides shelter for handtools and anything else that shouldn’t get wet. There are racks for storage of larger tools like shovels and rakes. Material for composting is accumulated in two large bins and is periodically shredded and placed into smaller containers where it is watered and turned until useable compost is produced. Monthly meetings are held on the 3rd Saturday of the month. At these meetings general announcements are made, an educational talk is presented, any general questions from the gardeners are addressed and a snack is enjoyed. This is also a time for any projects that need to be completed with the help of the gardeners. Presidio is a large, well-tended garden with friendly people and a pleasant environment.

Pueblo Garden (South)
3500 S. 12th Ave.
12th & Ajo
Site Coordinator – Charlie Hoffman
chacharosa@yahoo.com

Rincon Mountain Garden (East)
8445 E. Tanque Verde
Site Coordinator – Shelly Kruis
skruis@gmail.com

Sabino Vista Garden (Northeast)
Near Sabino Canyon & Cloud Rd
Site Coordinators – Patty Dean
Patricia3Dean@msn.com
In 2006 when I moved to Tucson from my Wyoming ranch, my neighbor brought a friend over to see me. It was someone I knew from first grade, whom I hadn’t seen in decades and who happened to live near Darlene Schacht, CGT’s Treasurer. I had mentioned how much I would like to have a community garden. Within days, George Brookbank and Darlene came over for tea and our Sabino Vista garden was launched. How blessed this has been for me and for our neighbors. George had warned that we shouldn’t include people who live too far away because they soon drop out. When a certain person from a distant area was informed of the general rule, he said, “To hell with the rule; I’m joining.” He and his family are among the few original members, still gardening with us. There has certainly been an awakening in these past five years for the benefits of a community garden. Since then we have more than tripled the gardens with George’s tutelage and with a very active director, Gene Zonge.

St. Demetrios Garden (Midtown)
1145 E. Fort Lowell
Near Mountain & Fort Lowell
Site Coordinators – Jennifer Hall and David Mount
jdhall@u.arizona.edu

St. Gregory Garden
3231 N. Craycroft
Near Craycroft & River

Site Coordinators – Patti Hartmann and Bruce Plenk
hartmann@cox.net, bplenk@igc.org
The Saint Gregory garden is nestled in the northwest corner of Saint Gregory school, just off of Craycroft between Ft Lowell and River Road in a setting with a rural feel. The garden has 33 plots. It is fenced for critters, and we have a nice bench on our south side. Six of the garden plots belong to faculty at the school and we are intimately linked with the students and some of the staff. The art department has made some lovely sculptures that hang on our fence and teachers and kids grow some alflafa to feed goats kept by the Middle School. Other of the plots are held by parents with students at St. Gregory or by people who live in the Old Fort Lowell neighborhood, and some of the gardners come from further afield. We encourage people of little experience to come and garden. There is an
education portion of the program. We also encourage experienced gardeners to come and share their experience with us. Our garden is very well kept by a wonderful group of community minded gardeners. Our gardeners are involved in composting, experimenting with different kinds of seeds, and generally having a good time sharing ideas, seeds, and recipes.

Sewell Garden (Eastside)
425 N. Sahuara
Near 5th St. & Craycroft
Site Coordinator – Mari Diffley
mdiffley@concinnityllc.com

S.A.R.G. Garden (Downtown)
1627 N. Stone
Near Speedway & Stone
Site Coordinator – Emily Ruddick
ecruddick@gmail.com

Sunrise Garden
5301 E. Sunrise
Near Sunrise Drive & Craycroft
Site Coordinator – Zee Rossi
zupzel@gmail.com

Ventana Vista Garden (Northeast)
6580 N. Kolb
Near Kolb & Sunrise
Site Coordinators – Joseph and Susan Kraus
jkraus@lbto.org

Ventana Vista Garden located on the grounds of Ventana Vista Elementary School was just completed in the fall of 2011. Our beautiful garden is laid out in a gorgeous setting of the open dessert and spectacular backdrop of Catalaina Mountains. It’s a surprisingly quiet spot set in the very back of the school; so even when the kids are on the playground their joyful laughter and cheerful voices in the distance blend with the sunshine and bird songs creating wonderful and peaceful atmosphere. Our garden was created with an idea to offer the children a chance to garden at school. There’re 7 plots designated to each class level with hope that students and teachers will incorporate gardening in their studies, learn about growing food, and enjoy the miracle of harvest. The rest of 17 plots designated to the public have been taken by neighbors and student families and a brand new garden community is being formed.

Verdugo Garden (West)
938 S. Verdugo
Near 22nd St. & I-10

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