Community Garden Connections



Build local capacity to grow food.


Our mission is to increase access to and interest in healthy food and healthy environments, for all members of our community Community Garden Connections (CGC) builds local capacity to grow food and enhances personal and communal well-being among those most impacted by climate change and other social, economic, and ecological injustices. CGC’s education and outreach enhance community resilience through the installation and cooperative maintenance of 70+ raised garden beds alongside social service agencies and nonprofits. CGC offers safe places for community members to get outside, learn, and connect through gardening. Amidst Covid-19, CGC pivoted its programming to offer virtual workshops, educational materials, 150 “container gardens,” over 1,000 pounds of donated fresh produce, and take-home soup kits to the community. Since its founding in 2011 by Antioch University New England, CGC staff have planted, harvested, and donated over six tons of food to the local community kitchen. They have engaged more than 1,000 community members, 25 partner agencies, and hundreds of graduate, undergraduate, and high school students. CGC is led by a team of student coordinators with support from faculty advisor, Dr. Libby McCann. CGC’s most loyal and generous donor has been The Aaron Rashti Family Foundation, stewarded by Stacey R. Decker ’08 (Antioch New England, MS in Environmental Studies) and Stephen Decker ’08 (Antioch New England, MS in Environmental Studies). In the coming years, we want to expand educational opportunities for our gardeners, deepen our relationship with community partners and continue to increase access to healthy food and healthy environments.

Why Community Gardens?

Community gardens provide access to healthy landscapes, enhance our connections to outdoor environments, create strong social networks, increase self-sufficiency and local food security, and increase wellness. Gardening provides an affordable, nutritious food source. It cuts across social, economic, and racial barriers to bring together people of all ages and backgrounds.

Program Goals

Community Garden Connections envisions a future where everyone in the Monadnock region thrives and has:

  • Reliable access to healthy outdoor environments;
  • Reliable access to local, nutritious, culturally relevant food;
  • The knowledge and resources necessary to determine their own food future.

To achieve our vision, our goals include:

  • Increased food security through co-building and supporting a network of community gardens and donating food from the Westmoreland Garden Project and other sites to the Community Kitchen;
  • Increased community health through providing supportive and inclusive garden and nutrition education;
  • Increased focus on justice and equity by learning, with cultural humility, from our community how to address systemic barriers in the food system by providing a space where everyone who participates in Community Garden Connections has everything they need to be successful and thrive;
  • Increased resilience in the face of climate change by providing current, relevant, region-specific education, resources, and information about best practices for growing food in a world of ever-increasing climate uncertainty.

2019 CGC Annual Report

2019 Westmoreland Garden Report

2020 CGC Annual Report

2021 CGC Annual Report

2022 CGC Annual Report

2023 CGC Annual Report

Advisory Committee

To support CGC’s efforts, an Advisory Committee consisting of individuals from organizations throughout the Keene community provide expertise to our efforts. Their contributions and guidance help to ensure the long-term success of this program.

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