The Hamilton Community Garden Network (HCGN) is a program with Neighbour to Neighbour Centre that helps to build and sustain community gardens. The HCGN is a hub of the garden community by helping people:

 

Tools ResourcesAccess Resources and Tools to start, run, or participate in a garden, and access donations/supplies

findFind Gardens through the interactive garden directory and map.

HCGN_ConnectShare_Icon Learn and Connect through events, workshops, meet-ups and social media from a local to a national level

 

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Mission

To collaboratively support Hamiltonians in building and sustaining community gardening projects from the perspective of improving food security and increasing community involvement.

Vision

A community in which everyone has the opportunity to participate in and benefit from gardens grown to meet their needs.

History

In 2007, guided by community interest, Hamilton Public Health Services approached North Hamilton Community Health Centre about resurrecting a Hamilton-Wentworth Garden Network. Interested parties came together and the HCGN was formed.

In 2010, stakeholders came together with the Community Food Security Stakeholder Committee to develop and pass the Hamilton Community Garden Policy. In 2011 and 2012, Green Venture developed the HCGN to include branding, outreach tools, and workshops with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the City of Hamilton Public Works, Public Health Services and many partners.

In 2013, the Ontario Trillium Foundation supported Green Venture and Neighbour to Neighbour in continuing to grow and define the HCGN and support food growing garden projects in Hamilton. Today, Neighbour to Neighbour continues to grow and support community gardening initiatives in Hamilton through the HCGN program.

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Benefits to Community Gardening

Community gardens empower Hamiltonians to connect with, learn about, and grow their own food. They are places that enhance the image and well-being of neighbourhoods, making them better places to live work and play. The Hamilton Community Garden Network supports gardens to:

HCGN_BuildCommunity_Icon

Build Community 

  • People develop and leverage relationships out of gardens leading to other projects and partnerships such as donating to food agencies and starting community organizations
  • People get jobs or employment out of participating in the gardens through the fact that 5 local farms are run by past community garden coordinators
  • People from all backgrounds can get engaged and share their skills and traditions in a safe gathering place

Promote Wellness

Promote Wellness

  • People learn new skills while gaining new access to spaces to grow food
  • People get active and are shown to eat more fresh produce when they grow it themselves
  • Community gardens increase access to fresh produce while allowing individuals to exercise and build social relationships

 

Enhance Environment

Enhance Environment

  • Gardens leverage community assets to create green spaces where water and waste are managed creatively and sustainably while food is grown
  • Communities use garden spaces for events and gatherings
  • Community gardens help the ecosystem to properly function and support biodiversity

 

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The HCGN is supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation: