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Washington State University

Community First Garden Project

What We Offer
The CFG Grant Project started in 2008 and has provided financial support for new and growing gardens. This work has been accomplished with partnerships such as volunteers, local businesses, churches, and scout troops.

The CFG program is no longer accepting applications for garden grants. Please contact us for assistance – local, regional and national grants and funding opportunites are available and WSUE is here to help .

Link to online resources and CFG Resources.

CFG program has provided garden grants to 15 Whatcom County community gardens.

What does this mean? Our garden grants have helped in purchasing lumber for over 300 raised beds, 3 hoop houses, deer fencing, soil amendments, compost bins, irrigation supplies, seeds, tools and more.

Our newest partner gardens are the Lummi Nation, Sudden Valley Barn View Garden, and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Garden.

Our next steps
Now that the CFG grant program is complete and we are no longer accepting applications for funding requests. We will continue to offer the following support.

Technical support
We strive to offer opportunities, networking, local connections, resources, and direct mentoring in the gardens. Gardens that partner can receive technical assistance in the designing, planning, budgeting, soil consultation, and layout.

Education and Mentoring
We also can provide Master Gardener advisors to any community garden. WSU Whatcom County Extension offers free educational seminars at individual garden sites, and we help resolve issues at specific gardens. Topics include successive planting/harvesting, extending the growing season, rain water catchment & irrigation, seed saving, composting and more.

Funding for this WSU Project is provided by The Mary Redman Foundation.

“Local Food Grown by Local People”

Project Goals
CFG Project goals are to help expand access to community gardens, thereby increasing self-sufficiency and local food security with nutritious fresh produce; to provide opportunities for environmental education and stewardship of land; and to help create neighborhood gathering places that are welcoming to all.

Project History
The Community First Gardens Project grew out of a close alliance between Mary Redman, President of The Mary Redman Foundation, and Drew Betz, WSU Extension Faculty. Their combined efforts resulted in the first garden projects sponsored and funded by The Mary Redman Foundation: Lydia Place Garden and Parkview Elementary School Teaching Garden. In 2008, WSU and The Mary Redman Foundation collaborated again to form Community First Gardens. CFG provides opportunities for neighbors to work side-by-side tending their individual garden plots, while building a sense of self-reliance as they learn to grow their own food.

Our Mission
Community First Garden Project provides funding, technical support and education to new and established community gardens throughout Whatcom County, while fostering cooperative, community building relationships.

Contact Information
For more information, contact Beth Chisholm, CFG Coordinator, at:

CFG project recipients:

Cordata Community Garden
East County Resource Center
Everson Community Garden
Faith Community Garden
Ferndale Friendship Garden
Lummi Nation
Lydia Place
Maple Falls
Meridian Middle School
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church
Sterling Paz Community Garden
Sudden Valley Barn View
Sudden Valley Community Garden
York Neighborhood Farm

List of Partner Gardens (pdf)

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