History of Community Gardens in Burlington

Burlington has a long history of community gardening, dating back to the city’s first garden at Cliffside Park (now Oakledge) in 1972, followed by a wave of gardens started by Gardens for All, a program of Garden Way. Much of this work was done by staff member Tommy Thompson, after whom the city’s largest community garden site at the Intervale is named. To learn more about the early years of community gardening, see: A History of Community Gardening in Chittenden County, Vt.

By 1976, the city had 23 sites and nearly 1,000 plots. By the mid 1980s, there were 255 plots left in the city, with only 190 rented. The City of Burlington Parks and Recreation Department took over management of the remaining eight gardens in 1987 and the gardens have seen a steady increase since then. For more BACG history, see “Thirty-five Years and Still Growing: The History of Burlington Area Community Gardens, 1972-2007.”

The City of Burlington, through the Burlington Parks and Recreation Department, now maintains a network of 14 community and neighborhood garden sites with more than 500 garden plots. The city is also home to several independent neighborhood and group gardens, school gardens, and garden education programs. 

For Burlington Area Community Gardens registration information and guidelines, visit the Burlington Parks and Recreation web site or contact Land Steward Dan Cahill, at 802-863-0420.

Celebrating 40 years

BACG celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012 with a community party featuring the premiere of a special 40th Anniversary Documentary video by Jack Steele and Dan Cahill, and a proclamation by Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger. Check out photos from the event.

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