Forsyth County has enjoyed a vibrant culture around community gardening for over
250 years. In fact, the very first community garden in the country was founded here
in 1759, in what is now Historic Bethabara Park.
Since that time, community gardens have continued to be a part of Forsyth County’s
heritage and culture. In the late 2000s the community garden movement in Forsyth
County experienced a resurgence. Residents began voicing an interest in food security
issues and, along with that, a strong desire for the establishment of community
gardens. This local revival around community gardening did not go unnoticed.
In 2010, as a direct response to the groundswell of support for community gardens,
Forsyth County’s Cooperative Extension Service
secured a grant from the Winston-Salem Foundation and established Forsyth Community
Gardening. Under the direction of Mary Jac Brennan, FCG quickly established itself
as an effective mobilizer of community gardeners and, in turn, of community gardens.
In the span of three short years, the number of community gardens in Forsyth County
nearly tripled: from just over 40 in 2010 to well over 120 by the end of 2013. On
the heels of this success, Forsyth Community Gardening became fully-funded by the
county’s Cooperative Extension Service beginning in November, 2013.
Today, the scores of community gardens in Forsyth County are thriving. In addition
to the original 1759 Community Garden in Bethabara, our community gardens can be
found in schoolyards, at religious centers, on public property, and even in people's
If you would like to learn how to start a community garden or find out how to get
involved with one, please see below. Additionally, be sure to check out our
programs and upcoming events.