Our History

Since 1973 we have been cultivating partnerships between people who care about the earth and believe in the power of community gardening to transform neighborhoods.

In the early 1970’s, Liz Christy and the original band of green guerillas decided to do something about the urban decay they saw all around them. They threw “seed green-aids” over the fences of vacant lots. They planted sun flower seeds in the center meridians of busy New York City streets. They put flower boxes on the window ledges of abandoned buildings.

Soon they turned their attention to a large, debris-filled vacant lot on the corner of Bowery and Houston Streets. Where other people saw a vacant lot, they saw a community garden. People donated their time and talents. Local stores and nurseries donated vegetables clippings and seeds. They created the Bowery Houston Farm and Garden – and they sparked a movement.

The green guerillas began rallying other people to use community gardening as tool to reclaim urban land, stabilize city blocks, and get people working together to solve problems. Soon, dozens of community gardens bloomed throughout New York City, and neighbors formed vital grassroots groups.

Today, more than 600 community gardens serve as testaments to the skill, creativity, and determination of New York City’s community garders. They grow food for their families and neighbors. They connect city kids to the earth. They give seniors cool green spaces to pass summer days. They allow people to kneel down together and garden in the city.

Green Guerillas has grown and changed along with the movement. Today, we are a vital nonprofit resource center, helping community gardeners cultivate community all year long.