Description & History

Established in 1978, GreenThumb (GT) is proud to be the nation’s largest urban gardening program, assisting over 600 gardens and thousands of garden members throughout New York City. GT’s mission is to educate and support community gardens and urban farming in NYC, while preserving open space. By providing free materials and technical assistance, GT supports neighborhood volunteers who manage community gardens as active resources that strengthen communities. GT gardens are hubs of neighborhood pride and provide a myriad of environmental, economic and social benefits to the neighborhoods in which they thrive.

GT contributes to making community gardens successful in various ways. It provides garden materials, technical support, educational workshops and a seasonal program guide to its community gardeners. It assists gardeners in promoting their events through the GT website and holds several large events every year. GT’s annual GrowTogether conference, Summer Festival and Harvest Fair provide a forum for gardeners to network, support and learn from each other. Additionally, GT’s monthly educational workshops on horticulture, community organizing and many other topics develop gardener skills and knowledge. After 35 years, GT considers itself a success in responding to an urban crisis and making a positive contribution to neighborhoods and the people that live and work in them. GT is proud of its role in supporting community gardens, which play a vital role as community centers and beacons of green space within the city’s vast expanses of asphalt and buildings.


Since 1988, GreenThumb has provided material and technical support to educators throughout the five boroughs. School gardens present engaging interdisciplinary lessons in core subjects such as science, math, language arts, nutrition and art to NYC schoolchildren. Students and their teachers receive learning materials, curricula, and tools to enhance their use of the gardens. GT currently serves schools through our partnerships with the City Parks Foundation’s Learning Gardens and Grow to Learn NYC: the Citywide School Garden Initiative. Since 2010, Grow to Learn NYC has provided material, technical, and financial support to school garden projects of all types, indoors or outdoors, on school grounds or in partnership with neighborhood gardens. There are currently over 400 school-led Grow to Learn gardens providing hands-on educational experiences for students and instructors alike!


Established in 1982, LRP is the operational arm of GreenThumb. They provide support by delivering supplies and renovating garden sites. They also handle service requests, such as fence and sidewalk repair, lot cleaning and tree pruning. Additionally, they transform unattended vacant lots into verdant meadows of grasses, clover and wildflowers for butterflies and other beneficial insects. This helps to discourage illegal dumping, thus reducing the cost of repeated lot cleaning and health hazards caused by rats.

GreenThumb provides programming and material support to over 600 community gardens in New York City. Workshops, which are the access point for supplies, are held every month of the year, covering gardening basics to more advanced farming and community organizing topics.



About the organization


Carlos Martinez
Deputy Director
Carina Nieves
Youth Leadership Council Coordinator
Organization’s website: