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Mission & Vision

Vision Statement

Gardening Matters envisions a just, diverse and sustainable local food system where home and community gardens build stronger communities for the future.

Mission Statement

Gardening Matters supports successful, sustainable gardens and inspires gardeners to build resilient communities as they grow their own fresh food.

Guiding Values

COLLABORATION: We engage in partnerships that are horizontal and mutually beneficial. We strive for cooperation and teamwork rather than competition. We intend to be grassroots oriented, both internally and externally.

COMMUNITY BUILDING: We seek to build community and community leadership from an asset-based model, focused on the existing strengths within a community. We believe wealth and power are found in social capital and health.

ECO-RESPONSIBILITY: We have a duty to protect, preserve, and replenish the Earth. This includes using responsible gardening practices that rebuild the soil, promote water quality, and support pollinators, and working with partners who share these values. We recognize that the burdens of pollution, environmental degradation, and climate change are not shared equitably and we seek to support environmental justice efforts through our actions and partnerships.

STEWARDSHIP: Recognizing we are kin to all living things, we will be wise with our resources – cultural, community, ecological, and financial.

EQUITY: We strive to embody racial, social and economic equity (the fair and just distribution of resources and opportunities) in all facets of our work, including internal operations, program design and access, working relationships, and community engagement. We affirm and respect cultural heritage and self-determination.

CO-LEARNING: We embrace the richness of multiple perspectives, value all voices, encourage innovation, embody a culture of reflection and adaption, and lift up community wisdom.

SYSTEM CHANGE: We recognize that the barriers to community health and wealth are systemic, and so we seek to advance change at the system level.

TRANSFORMATION: We believe in the power of authentic relationships and that lasting change is not achieved through transactions alone.


In summer of 2008, the three-year program, GardenWorks, became Gardening Matters, an independent organization dedicated to community gardeners across the Twin Cities and Minnesota. Gardening Matters continues the mission and programming of GardenWorks to work with gardeners to create vibrant sustainable community gardens that are assets to their communities. Read more about Gardening Matters' history. 

Goals of Gardening Matters

  • To build the local food movement through inspiring individuals and families to grow their own food
  • To build resilient communities where neighbors grow, share, eat and preserve their own food
  • To strengthen networking and shared learning between community garden groups
  • To strengthen internal functioning and sustainability of community gardens
  • To organize and advocate for supportive policies for community and backyard gardening
  • To foster partnerships between the gardening community and public and private sectors
  • To assist with the establishment of new community gardens
  • To support immigrants in reconnecting with agricultural roots and culturally relevant food crops

How Do We Do It?

We serve as a central clearinghouse for community gardening and food growing resources in the Twin Cities. We host a comprehensive community garden inventory, hold community gardening events and gardener get-togethers, provide web resources, and facilitate start-up, leadership, and garden sustainability trainings. We serve as a liaison between community gardens and the general public, the public sector, and business, advocating on behalf of community and backyard gardeners. 

We coordinate seven neighborhood gardening networks. These networks provide home and community gardeners the support to grow, preserve, cook, and compost their own fresh produce by offering supplies, educational opportunities, and community connections in each neighborhood.   

Check out our 2016 Annual Report to see more.

Want To See Pictures?

Check out our Flickr account for updated photos of garden visits, skillshares, workshops and more! Click this icon at the top of our page: 


Gardening Matters thanks the many individual donors of money and time, volunteering their energy and skills. Gardening Matters owes its success to you -- THANK YOU! To make a tax-deductible donation to support community gardening programming, make check out to Gardening Matters and mail to 310 E. 38th St., #204b, Minneapolis, MN 55409 or online.

Gardening Matters is supported by the McKnight Foundation, the McNeely Foundation, the Wedge Co-op, Patagonia, and the Clif Bar Family Foundation, and many generous individuals and friends.