Featured Garden

Common Good City Farm

Every summer Common Good City Farm welcomes a new group of local teens to participant in their six-week, paid Youth Employment Program. Pictured here are just a few of the teens that contributed to this story, July 2013.

Sixteen teenagers. Four iPads. Two days. One summer on an urban farm in Washington, D.C. Lots of questions. Every summer Common Good City Farm…

Gardens and green spaces play an increasingly significant role in community development across the nation. Viewed as community assets, these spaces are revitalizing urban areas and encouraging healthier lifestyles by providing a place for outdoor recreation and reflection. Building a garden or learning the history of a green space has the potential to brighten up your neighborhood, mobilize community cooperation, and reveal inspiring stories. How can creating a green space transform your community? Document and share!

Take the Challenge and become a Smithsonian Gardens Green Ambassador!

  • Design a green space or capture a garden story.
  • Send us a letter, along with images and other media, explaining the impact and significance of your new community garden or your garden oral history.
  • Submit all materials to communityofgardens@si.edu and we will add your stories to the Smithsonian Gardens Community of Gardens digital archives.

Design a Green Space: Smithsonian Gardens Green Ambassador Challenge

Collage of gardens included in the Community of Gardens digital archive.

Become a Smithsonian Gardens Green Ambassador! Teens and students, empower yourselves to become local leaders by making your school or community...

Interview a Gardener: Smithsonian Gardens Green Ambassador Challenge

Collage of gardeners included in the Community of Gardens digital archive.

Become a Smithsonian Gardens Green Ambassador! This is a project about sharing wisdom, life experiences, and community history from a gardener’s...

A Democracy of Beauty for All: Highlights from the J. Horace McFarland Company Collection


J. Horace McFarland was a leading proponent of the City Beautiful Movement and president of the American Civic Association. Learn...

For Teachers and Schools

Students, staff, and volunteers at Paul International High School plant rows of seeds in raised beds, spring 2014.

Lesson plans and resources tailored for schools. Teacher packets include tips for long-term and short-term student engagement. All lessons are...

For Museums, Libraries, and Organizations

Black-eyed Susans provide nectar for traveling Monarch butterflies in this educational museum garden.

Resources for museums, libraries, and non-profit organizations interested in utilizing Community of Gardens to share stories and  implement garden history...

Grown from the Past: A Short History of Community Gardening in the United States

Hoop house with marigolds, arugula, and peppers growing. Heather McWane, photographer, 2009. Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Garden Club of America Collection.

Dig in and explore the history of community gardening in the United States with this digital exhibit from Smithsonian Gardens.