Community Gardeners Gather

American Community Gardening Association celebrates 30 years of growing healthy, sustainable cities.

Tools await gardeners returning to their community garden plots.

Tools await gardeners returning to their community garden plots.

iStockphoto.com/Christopher Steer

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American Community Gardening Association celebrates its 30th anniversary August 6-9 with its Annual Membership Conference at the organization's national headquarters in the Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio.

The conference will bring together hundreds of individuals from across the United States, Canada and abroad, who are engaged in all aspects of gardening and greening. It includes hands-on workshops, keynote speakers, a film festival, and visits to parks, school gardens and community gardens.

The event coincides with the opening of the conservatory's 4-acre Community Garden Campus, which will provide the public with a showcase of home gardening, as well as community garden plots for rent.

When the ACGA was founded 30 years ago, the community gardens movement was familiar only to a few. The cause now has advocates such as First Lady Michelle Obama, who has described herself as a "a big believer" in community gardens. Since the economic downturn, the ACGA has seen a dramatic increase in public interest in community gardens. In response, the organization is making an increased effort to provide advocacy, outreach and education programs to help communities all over the United States and Canada create and sustain gardens.

Community gardens remain one of the most powerful tools for promoting environmental and social justice. Studies show they increase food security and urban green space, as well as strengthen neighborhood social ties, stabilize property values and reduce crime and vandalism.

ACGA is a national, nonprofit organization that provides resources, advocacy and know-how to promote community gardening across North America. The staff and national board of directors bring community gardeners together across North America and provide them with training, local and national advocacy and technical assistance.

To register go to ACGA's Conference Page.

For more information on the ACGA, visit the website.