The Growing Center Turns 30!
The 30th Anniversary of the Growing Center first community work days in Fall 1993 is upon us! Here's what we have in store as we embark on this major milestone:
30th Anniversary Kickoff Event
Saturday, October 14
at the Growing Center
Garden Party Fundraiser
at a private home
Date TBD, June 2024
at the Growing Center
Interested in getting more involved? Join our 30th Anniversary Steering Committee! Email email@example.com.
Photos from our 30th Anniversary Kickoff, October, 2023.
Get on board our
The goal is simple: 30 Years. 30 Weeks. $30,000. Learn more and give here.
30th Anniversary Projects
We are launching several projects as part of our celebration of 30 years as a beloved community gathering space and home for urban agriculture, cultural events and nature education!
Strategic Planning Process
At the end of 2022, The Friends of the Community Growing Center (FCGC) launched its first-ever Strategic Planning process. The associated committee is working in close partnership with the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee to align plans around the mission to be inclusive and accessible, and evolve to serve the changing landscape of Somerville residents.
In the winter/spring of 2023, Strategic Planning efforts were supported by a team of graduate students from the Tufts Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. The research being done by the Tufts students has helped the FCGC undertake a deep analysis of where the Growing Center has been successful in the past, and the opportunities for growth in the future.
As we get closer to 2024, we plan to fully flesh out this plan, which also includes organizational and administrative changes, more transparency, and an Annual Report that will look back through our history at some of our accomplishments and think forward another few decades at where we're headed.
Read more about the Strategic Planning process in this blog post from the spring of 2023, which includes info on how to get more involved.
As part of our celebrations around turning 30, we are gathering stories from across the past three decades, in addition to looking to the future! Specifically, 30-second stories! We hope to get community members from near and far to share your memories of the impact that the Growing Center has had on your life or those of your loved ones, and/or ideas or dreams for the future will be so impactful for the organization.
How to Submit Your Story:
To submit your 30-second Story, visit bit.ly/gc-30 and under "username" type in somerville (all lower case). All you need is a smart phone or a computer with a working mic/camera (just like on Zoom).
Submission of your video indicates your permission to share via our social media channels as part of our 30th anniversary and strategic planning process. If you would prefer to share your stories through writing, or want to share more than 30 seconds, keep an eye out for our upcoming survey form.
We appreciate your passing along word of this opportunity with people who have known the Center in various ways throughout the years.
A team will also be conducting a limited number of video interviews. If you are interested in participating, keep an eye out here for more information as it becomes available!
Media Archive & YouTube Channel
One component of the Growing Center’s archival project is the documentation of all media coverage of the Center. This Fall 2023 semester, an undergraduate intern from the Urban Ecological Gardening course at Lesley University will be helping to digitize our media coverage to make it accessible to the public. Additionally, Somerville resident volunteer Greg Hill is working with the FCGC Board to build a brand-new YouTube channel for the Growing Center, which features some of its earliest video footage. Visit it at:
Share your Photos!
We welcome digital photos from events and work days at the garden from the past three decades! Folks can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org (preferably with date/event/people listed). Hard copies can be mailed to:
PO Box 76
Somerville, MA 02143
Please pass along word of this opportunity to people who have known the Center in various ways throughout the years.
In the fall of 1993, a group of community activists, volunteers, high school students, elected officials and neighbors came together to break ground on a quarter-acre sized parcel of hilly land outside of Union Square to build what was to become the Somerville Community Growing Center, a brand new model for community gardens across the country. The Center opened in the spring of 1994 with a full season of public events for all to enjoy. (Read more about our history on our site and history page.)