Press Releases

Trustees’ Boston Community Gardens to Host 48th Annual Gardeners’ Gathering on March 16

Boston, MA  |  March 8, 2024

BOSTON, MA – March 8, 2024 – The Trustees will host the 48th Annual Gardeners’ Gathering on March 16 at Northeastern University’s Shillman Hall. The event kicks off at 10 a.m. and features workshops, exhibitors, networking, and awards.

Hosted by The Trustees Boston Community Gardens and the City of Boston, the Gathering is free and has something for both beginners and skilled gardeners, as well as those curious to learn more about urban gardening. This year’s event will be headlined by a panel of legacy gardeners highlighting the rich history of the community gardens and their inception.

The Trustees cares for and operates 56 community gardens totaling 15 acres and spanning eight Boston neighborhoods.

“Our community gardens add valuable greenspace to neighborhoods in Boston and invaluable space for neighbors to gather not only to grow food, but to nurture community,” said Katie Theoharides, President and CEO of The Trustees. “The Trustees is proud to play a role in this amazing legacy and look forward to expanding our gardens over the next few years to increase access to fresh produce.”

Continuing a long tradition of partnership with the City of Boston, Mayor of Boston Michelle Wu is expected to attend the Gathering on Saturday to honor Mel King and present the Community Garden Awards to the “Rookie Garden of the Year,” “Hall of Fame Garden,” and a special surprise award for “Hall of Fame Gardener.”

This year marks the 50-year anniversary of the “Massachusetts Gardening and Farm Act.” In 1974, MA State Representative Mel King sponsored this important legislation and it passed into law. The act legally protected the rights of people to use vacant public land for farming and gardening and led the city of Boston to start the Revival program in 1975. The Revival program offered free services around clearing debris, adding topsoil, providing water, fencing, and planting advice for new growing spaces in the city. This opened doors for some of the first community gardens to officially open, such as the Berkeley Community Garden in the South End in 1976.

“We are excited to honor Mel King and his commitment to social justice in Boston, as well as the greater history of Boston in the community gardens,” said Vidya Tikku, Trustees Regional Vice President, Boston and Urban Outdoors. “Instead of our typical keynote speaker, we have invited a panel of legacy gardeners who have supported the community garden movement for decades and will speak on the rich history of its inception.”

Panelists include Elora Thompson, coordinator of Nightingale Community Garden; Lolita Parker, photographer, archivist, and coordinator of the Bessie Barnes Community Garden; Vivien Morris, founder of Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition and coordinator of the Kennedy Community Garden, and Edgewater Neighborhood Association; Julie Stone, founder of the Boston Schoolyard Initiative; Sarah Hutt, coordinator of the Berkeley Community Garden. The panel will be facilitated by Shani Fletcher, Grow Boston’s Director of Urban Agriculture.

Experts from local farms, gardens, and urban agriculture organizations will lead skill-building workshops on a variety of topics, including starting seeds indoors, native pollinators, making your own soil amendments, soil ecology under a microscope, rat control, medicinal herbs, and more.

Free registration is available at