About the West Side Community Garden

The West Side Community Garden is owned and maintained by the West Side CommunityGarden Inc., an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization incorporated under New York State Law.


The West Side Community Garden was founded in 1976 on a trash-strewn 89,000 square foot vacant lot on Columbus Avenue that had been slated for an urban renewal project. In 1982, the Community board, developers, and the New York City Planning Commission approved a permanent Garden plan, and a groundbreaking for the present Garden took place in October 1987. The property for the current Garden site was deeded to West Side Community Garden Inc. in November 1989.

The current design for the garden was developed by the Gardeners working with Artists and the current layout, incorporating a floral amphitheater and public seating area, was part of the Gardener’s vision from the very beginning.

Landscape designer Terry Schnadelbach took the Gardener’s vision and created a blueprint design which was built to our specifications during 1987-88. The Garden and Terry Schnadelbach won the Philip N. Winslow award for best landscape design in 1991.

The Flower Park

The public Flower park is maintained by Garden members and Volunteers who “show up” on weekends. The individual Flower Plots are assigned by the Flower Committee, and the perimeter flower beds are maintained by Community volunteers under the guidance of the flower committee.

Generally the Flower Committee meets the first Sunday of every month at 2 pm in the garden during the Summer Months. Everyone is welcome.

The Vegetable Plots

The vegetable beds, community herb bed, six children’s or school plots, tool shed, and compost bins are located in a closed area of the garden on the 90th Street side. The general public is welcome to walk in the closed area when the gate is open and a garden member is present. There is a waiting list for vegetable beds. Occasionally summer “caretaker beds” are available on a seasonal basis.

The Greenhouse

We are fortunate to have access to a greenhouse on the grounds of St. John the Divine at 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, a project which we have partnered with the Cathedral since 1993. Most of our annual flowers, vegetables, and herbs are raised from seeds sown in the Greenhouse starting in February of each year. To Volunteer in the Greenhouse, call Tom Thiess at 212 369 6183.

West Side Community Garden, NYC