There’s really no better way to celebrate spring than getting your hands dirty and doing some weeding or watering with your little ones in a community garden. Your child will get to see firsthand where food comes from and a side note… they might be more likely to eat their greens at dinner after helping to grow them!
Community Gardens are made of small plots that community members pay to tend over the season. There are also volunteer days when non-members can come help out! While there, you can talk with your little one about the importance of taking care of the Earth so that we can continue to grow these yummy fruits and vegetables. Being a part of beautifying your neighborhood is also a great lesson for little kids. Check out this roundup of community gardens in Queens:
View Queens Community Gardens in a larger map
In Astoria, visit Two Coves Community Garden from 10 to 5 on Saturdays and Sundays from April to November. Its located at the triangle formed between 8th St., Astoria Blvd., and 30th Ave./Main Ave. “Garden Together Hours” are posted on the garden’s google calendar and registration is not required. You and your kid(s) can just show up and get growing!! Here’s the link to the calendar. Another Astoria garden is The A.R.R.O.W. (Astoria Residents Reclaiming Our World) Community Garden, located at 35-30 35th Street. More information here. Nearby, the Long Island City Roots Community Garden is located at 47-08 30th Street. The garden commemorates Sunnyside firefighter Michael E. Brennan who lost his life on 9/11. This garden boasts raised beds for vegetables and a unique rain harvesting station. More information here at the Grow NYC website.
In South Jamaica, check out the Back To Eden Community Garden at 144-27 Lakewood Avenue, Queens, NY(Inwood Avenue between Lakewood Ave. and Lux Road). Besides growing organic fruits and vegetables and promoting recycling in the community, Back to Eden sponsors art workshops, music nights and plays! Family events are held on Thursday nights throughout the summer. If you live in the area, why not walk over and check out the garden?
Nearby is the The Dunton Block and Civic Association Garden located at 143-01 Shore Avenue, Queens, NY (Corner of Remington and Shore Avenues). The 227th Street Cambria Heights Community Garden is in Cambria Heights. Visit it at 227th Street & Linden Blvd, Queens, NY. This garden offers much more than planting and watering. Check out their classes on soapmaking, canning, cooking, composting and more. Contact the garden at email@example.com or get more information here.
King Manor Museum is in the process of planting their very first garden this summer. If you come by the garden throughout the summer, you can check on the progress of their peas, tomatoes and much more! King Manor is in King Park, on Jamaica Avenue between 150th and 153rd Streets in Jamaica, Queens. You can reach them by calling (718) 206-0545, or emailing Contact@Kingmanor.org. Check out their website here.
The Merrick-Marsden Neighbors Association Garden is located at 11818–11820 Merrick Boulevard, Queens, NY (Corner of Merrick Boulevard and 118th Road).
You can also head down to the beautiful Queens Botanical Garden to get your hands dirty. The Children’s Garden program, for kids age 4-12, allows kids to grow and eat their own vegetables, as well as discover and explore nature and the environment. See their website for more info. For information about Community Volunteer Days, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-886-3800, ext. 204.
The Malcolm X Community Garden is located at 33-02 112th Street / 111-26 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY (Corner of Northern Boulevard and 112th Street). Little ones are encouraged to come and work in the garden!
The McIntosh Neighborhood Association Garden is located at 25-16 McIntosh Street / 25-19 100th Street, Queens, NY (Corner of 100th and McIntosh Streets) in Elmhurst. This garden has a close affiliation with P.S. 127 and is known for its ethnic diversity.
Sunnyside Gardens Park offers members the option of purchasing a plot of land for tending on one year installments. In addition, kids are welcome to come when the Park holds special events such as “Getting Dirty!”, an event for kids 5 years old and up. Participants learn all about dirt—even going barefoot–to find out why all good gardens start with good dirt! The park is located at 48-21 39th Avenue . For more information email: email@example.com or call (718) 672-1555. Check out their website here.
The Jackson Heights Beautification Group works to clean up Travers Park (located between 77th and 78th Streets and runs from 34th Avenue nearly to Northern Boulevard). Travers, the only official public park that the neighborhood has, hosts the awesome Greenmarket on Sundays. JHBG cleans the park and does planting as well as advocacy work for the park. The idea of kids volunteering their time to clean the park they play in seems like a great concept! Coming up soon, JHBG is unveiling a community-composting center at 69th Street and 35th Avenue, under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Check them out on Facebook here and at their website here.
Just last year, the Beach 91st Street Community Garden had its grand opening. It is located at 136 Beach 91st Street. The group has an active facebook page where you can get lots of information about their events and how to join the garden. Check them out on Facebook here or send an email here: firstname.lastname@example.org