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What is a People’s Garden?

What is a People’s Garden?

The People’s Garden community connects gardens across the country that produce local food, practice sustainability, and bring people together in their community. People’s Gardens can take many different forms; they can include:

  • Food-producing gardens
  • Wildlife habitat
  • Conservation or beautification projects
  • Education and training spaces

Register and join the People’s Garden community to learn from other gardens, and share experiences, challenges, and successes.

People’s Garden History

  • Originally launched in 2009 by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, The People’s Garden was named in honor of Abraham Lincoln who created the USDA and called it the “People’s Department”.
  • The People’s Garden celebrates gardening and educates the public, underscoring Lincoln’s inclusive scope for USDA to include “…useful information on subjects connected with agriculture in the most general and comprehensive sense of the word.”
  • While much in agriculture has changed since Lincoln’s time, its core principles remain – the importance of food to sustain people and bring communities together.

People’s Garden Criteria

Gardens can join the movement if they:

  • Join the People’s Garden community by registering a garden at
  • Grow the garden using sustainable practices that benefit people and wildlife.
  • Teach about gardening and resilient, local food systems.

People’s Gardens Around the Country

  • Headquarters garden: The USDA Headquarters Garden located on the corner of Jefferson Drive and 12th Street, SW educates the public about sustainable gardening practices and the importance of gardening for resilient local food systems. The garden showcases food grown in containers for small urban spaces, raised beds for community plots, and fruit trees. All food produced in the garden is donated to D.C. Central Kitchen and Food Rescue US - DC.
  • Flagship gardens: USDA is investing in urban agriculture around the country by setting up County Committees for Urban Agriculture and Urban Service Centers starting with 17 cities. Through this effort we are also connecting with local communities through Flagship People’s Gardens.
  • Registered gardens: join the movement! We encourage community farms and gardens to register today!

Benefits of Registering as a People’s Garden

  • People’s Garden signage
  • Webinar series
  • Access to Extension Foundation Connect platform, a place to share information across the network of registered People’s Gardens
  • Opportunities to highlight gardens:
    • Included on map at
    • Stories of the People’s Garden
    • Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production newsletter
    • Social media