Helena Community Gardens

Mission: Helena Community Gardens builds gardens, provides the tools and knowledge to grow food, and increases access to healthy and affordable food.

About Helena Community Gardens (HCG): HCG provides garden plots to residents of the city of Helena (population about 30,00) and the surrounding community (metro population est. 77,000).  HCG has relationships with a wide variety of community organizations that can provide technical assistance.  Perhaps the most important community organization is North Valley Cooperative CSA who is an active HCG board member.  The Cooperative has a larger hoop house they erected last year.  He has contributed insights for this grant application, and has a wealth of information on the actual construction and maintenance of hoop houses, plus experience growing various crops.  In addition, we have good relationships with organizations who will help with construction, including boy scouts and Montana Conservation Corps, and an active community of volunteers who assist with other projects (e.g. the successful creation of two new community gardens this past year, Jubilee and the Sixth Ward Garden, both of which used many hours of volunteer labor at all skill levels).  Lastly, on an as-needed basis, HCG consults with Montana State University’s Lewis & Clark County Extension Agents as well as Helena Master Gardeners.  HCG also receives organizational support from United Way of Lewis & Clark County, including use of the Volunteer Helena website to recruit volunteers.

HCG hopes to contribute to a community commitment to reduce hunger and increase access to healthy, organic, locally grown food in Helena and beyond.  To this end, they will grow the Food Share donation program at Waukesha garden, and potentially identifying interested individuals or groups to become managers of the entire Helena Community Gardens Food Share donation program.  In addition, education and outreach will be enhanced through providing a demonstration of how to build and maintain a hoop house for season extension.

HCG fun facts:

  • HCG has 9 community gardens
  • HCG has 14 volunteer Garden Managers
  • 197 households garden with HCG
  • 250 people volunteered over 2,100 hours last year!
  • HCG offered 8 classes in 2016
  • 87% of our gardeners shared produce with people outside their own family
  • 19% of our gardeners had not grown their own vegetables prior to participating in a community garden
  • 57% of our gardeners said they would not be gardening at all if HCG did not  provide garden space
  • 20% of gardeners are on some form of social assistance

Learn more here! or for more information contact Jackie Heinert 406- 438-6049 or at helenacommunitygardens@gmail.com