Metro Boston

Boston Community Gardens

Eight Boston Neighborhoods

56 gardens

Neighborhood gardens transform city landscapes and build community.

Share

Plan Your Visit
  • Overview
  • Ideas for Your Visit
  • Admission & Hours
  • What You'll Find
  • Venue Rental
  • Property Map

Overview

The Trustees is the largest nonprofit owner of community gardens in Boston, with 56 under Trustees management, totaling 15 acres across eight Boston neighborhoods: Dorchester, East Boston, the Fenway, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, Mattapan, Mission Hill, and the South End. Our role as caretaker of Boston’s green spaces doesn’t stop with our own gardens: we help to coordinate activities related to all of the city’s 175 community gardens, touching more than 18,000 individuals and families annually.

A Trustees-managed garden may be a group of individual plots or common areas cared for by small groups. It may be a vegetable garden, a pocket park, or a combination of garden and gathering space. These oases of green are tended and cared for by local residents and are sources of neighborhood pride that connect people and place. They turn neighbors into friends, strengthen family bonds and traditions, and inspire joy in the shared work of growing fresh, healthy, and delicious food. Together they create a thriving neighborhood asset that benefits everyone in the community.

Garden Dues

Current garden members can pay 2021 dues online here. Add one “garden plot dues” to your cart, click on “Place Order”, select your garden by name, and enter your payment and contact info.

Add in separate instructions for garden coordinators who may be depositing for multiple plots.

Garden Workshops

Check out our upcoming garden workshops & events on our Seed Sow & Grow page. You can watch recordings of past workshops on The Trustees YouTube channel.

Plot Requests

Want to join a Trustees garden? Check out this map and this list, and then fill out this plot request form.

Native Plants & Seedling Sale

We have a great selection of plants for urban gardens, sustainably grown in Boston. Shop here.

General Garden Rules

Your garden may have additional rules; these apply to all Trustees gardens.

  • Community gardens are open for use and visitation daily, dawn to dusk. Gardens are closed dusk to dawn. Garden organized programs and/or events may take place during night time hours with advance notification and approval by The Trustees.
  • Individual gardens may be gated, locked, or otherwise restricted in use to garden members. These gardens are not open to the public, though visitation by non-members is allowed during programs, events, and garden socials hosted by The Trustees or the individual garden.
  • No pets are allowed in community gardens.
  • Children, 14 years and under, must be accompanied and supervised by an adult gardener.
  • Smoking, drinking, drugs, and weapons are prohibited. Alcoholic beverages are allowed to be consumed by adults (over 21 years) during parties, programs, and events with prior consent and approval of The Trustees.
  • Open fires are prohibited. Use of gas and charcoal grills is allowed with prior consent and approval of The Trustees. Grills must be stored in a shed when not in use.
  • Pesticide, chemical fertilizer, and biosolid compost use is prohibited. Natural fertilizers and pest controls are allowed. Please ask The Trustees if you have questions about a pest control or fertilizer product.
  • Individual gardeners are responsible for their own trash. Trash cannot be stored in individual garden plots; and must be removed from the garden and disposed of by the responsible gardener.
  • All trellising, stakes, arbors, and/or other garden supports may not exceed 6’ in height. Natural wood and metal supports are acceptable. Plastics, painted and/or treated wood, plywood, and any item with peeling paint is not allowed. All trellising, stakes, arbors and/or supports must be dismantled and stored November through March. Materials should be stored in the garden shed, or at home. Materials should not be stored in individual plots.
  • Plastic mulches are allowed seasonally, though not suggested for use in garden plots. All plastic/sheet mulches must be removed at the end of garden season and recycled/disposed of properly by the individual gardener. Plastic/sheet mulches cannot be left in place during the winter months. Degrading sheet plastics, Styrofoam and rigid insulation foam, plastic turf, and carpet remnants are prohibited.
  • Rain barrels are allowed if connected to a shed, gazebo or sun shelter. Installation of rain barrels must be approved by The Trustees. Rain barrels, buckets, bins or other storage containers shall not be installed in individual plots.
  • Boxing or fencing of plots, installing soil supports, and edging is not allowed by gardeners. Plots should not be filled with soil or compost above the level of existing edging and/or plot dividers. Raised bed construction using lumber, stone, metal and plastics is prohibited in individual plots.
  • Woody plants including trees, shrubs, cane fruit, and vines are prohibited in individual plots. These plants are restricted to common areas or designated plots. New plantings should be approved by The Trustees.
  • All plots must be cleared of standing annual vegetation, stalks, vines, and fruits by November 30. Annual greens, herbs, perennials, and bulbs may remain in place, though need to be managed during the off season to not become unsightly, contribute to disease spread, or attract pests. Season extension is allowed if actively monitored and managed daily.
  • Plant wastes, weeds, and spoiled produce must be bagged (paper) and removed from the garden by individual gardeners, composted on site, or removed following an organized cleanup effort by the garden. Plant wastes should not be bagged in plastic or stored in garden plots.
  • Pathways, sidewalks, and common plantings should maintained weed and debris free by gardeners in adjacent plots or during garden organized work days. Harvesting of communal plants and plantings should be managed in the same manner.
  • Soil from individual plots must not be spill on to, nor be dumped on pathways. Individual gardeners must maintain adjacent pathways free of soil buildup and other obstructions.
  • Tools and equipment should be stored in a shed, or at home when not in use.
  • Water should only be used for gardening purposes, by members of the garden.
  • Do not harvest produce, remove items, damage, or otherwise negatively affect the plots of fellow gardeners.

Ideas for Your Visit

Attend a gardening workshop or family program at any of of our community gardens. Register for a garden dinner. Join us at signature annual events like the Gardeners Gathering every March with the Mayor. Teach you children first hand about how food grows and healthy food habits. Six pocket parks remain accessible at all times.

Admission & Hours

Access to all community gardens is free of charge. The gardens are open to the public during public programs and events. Private visits can also be organized.

What You'll Find

Contact communitygardens@thetrustees.org to ensure if a community garden is open at the time you would like to visit.

Venue Rental

Contact communitygardens@thetrustees.org for information on joining a community garden or event rental options.

Property Map

Download a map of our community garden locations.

Before Setting Out
More to Explore

JP Virtual Garden Tour

Take a virtual tour of Jamaica Plain’s beautiful gardens.

Take the Tour
Upcoming Events

A tapestry of community green spaces with unique histories

Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN, merged into the Trustees of Reservations since 2014) first began working with community gardens in 1982, in an effort to preserve Boston’s inner city green space, which was rapidly disappearing as a result of increased development pressures. Since its act of initially taking ownership to save 16 threatened gardens, BNAN acquired 54 gardens in underserved neighborhoods, with the total now at 56 under The Trustees ownership.

Learn More
The View From Here
Discover More Places

Join the Trustees

Enjoy 120 sites featuring inspired trails, historic homes, beautiful gardens, farms, summer camps and more.
Become a Member

Lend a Hand

Join a community passionate about a sustainable future and engaged in diverse projects across the state.
Volunteer

Support Our Work

We rely on your generous support to protect the irreplaceable landscapes and landmarks of Massachusetts.
Donate