Toolshed Tips: Grow Your Network of Support

By Libby Weiland

Your March tip:  As you get ready for a new season in your community or school garden, it’s useful to think about who’s involved, what they have to offer, and any additional support you’ll need to pull off another successful year. Start by asking yourself: Who makes our garden run? Grab a pen and paper and make a quick list…

  • Well of course there are the gardeners;
  • Also likely there are people overseeing the garden’s maintenance, people who design and build as needed, and someone to make sure there’s funding and other resources to keep it all going;
  • Sometimes people are needed to organize events and activities in the garden;
  • Other times you seek bureaucratic or administrative support to ensure longevity of the garden and its programs;
  • And then there are the educators, organizations, businesses, and others who provide skills, knowledge, and resources to enhance your garden efforts.
  • And more!

Once you finish your list, put down your pen, take a step back, and grin—what an incredible network of people and groups it takes to pull off a successful season at your garden! Now if there are only a few names on your list – don’t worry – it’s not too late to expand your network so that you prevent overworking the few involved. But even if you already have strong support for your garden, it’s always beneficial to examine your connections. Look at your list again.

Where are the gaps? How is the strength of your connections? How can you enrich your efforts through diversifying your group? Right in your community there are common sense connections (neighbors, school administrators, gardeners with special skills) and unlikely avenues (workforce readiness programs, business sponsors, retirement communities) – GO, EXPLORE!

Join us this spring at a location near you for an opportunity to connect with fellow garden leaders, brainstorm the answers to these questions and more, and gather new ideas and tools for building your garden’s network of support. For dates, locations, and online registration visit VCGN’s Grow It! workshops.

Skip to content