In 1989, George Brookbank, a University of Arizona Cooperative Extension agent, devised a program to teach productive gardening using hands-on experience. A vacant lot located near 1st Ave. and Limberlost was graciously donated by the Hand family and was developed into plots with drip-irrigation systems. These plots were rented by participating families for the cost of water.

George Brookbank

In 1995, a new Extension agent decided community gardening was no longer a priority. Rather than abandon the thriving garden, George Brookbank, with the help of some local master gardeners, helped form the Community Gardens of Tucson as an independent, not-for-profit, volunteer organization. Since that time, CGT has expanded garden educational opportunities by developing and sustaining additional CGT gardens throughout Tucson and assisting other organizations (Community Food Bank, Hedrick Acres, and the Mennonite Peace Garden) to develop their own community gardens. Sadly, the original CGT garden was lost in 2006 to commercial development; when it closed this garden held 30 developed plots.

Timeline:  CGT part of U of AZ for first 4 years until March 15 when George retired.


August – started First Avenue Garden

December – First Ave, Drachman & Wilson up and running


Opened La Cienega Garden

August –  Offered land by Garzellonis (Corbett),  Working on Food Bank Garden plans

Sept – Corbett is opened for gardening, CFB has given us 24 plots on site


January – beginnings of Community Food Bank Garden

March 14 – ribbon-cutting ceremony for CFB Garden – 16 plots for families in Las Vistas & Pueblo Gardens

April – Ribbon cutting by Steve Leal at CFB


January – TV filming of Corbett Garden and CFB site on City Cable station

September – 4 wk class open to public

October – Seedling Sale at First Avenue Site–made $400


February – 4 wk class series

Oct 2nd – Octoberfest/plant sale just to gardeners


January – started Presidio Garden

September – started Chaverim Garden


April – won our first Mantis tiller in National Gardening Association Contest