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Scenes from ACGA's 2023 Houston Conference

Thanks to Marilú Lopez-Fretts, ACGA Board Member and extraordinary photographer, for photos of the conference. EditorTerri Carter selected just a few of her photos for this scrapbook of conference memories.

The 2023 ACGA Annual Community Gardening Conference took place in Houston, Texas, September 27-30, 2023. ACGA President Cathy Walker calls it "an incredible success." The theme was “Celebrating the Diversity of Growing.” Houston’s Urban Harvest co-hosted the event, and Urban Harvest’s Executive Director Janna Roberson was our keynote speaker. Close to 300 community garden enthusiasts took part from across North America. Events included speakers, workshops, garden tours, a pre-conference reception, and a Saturday closing celebration at a spectacular rooftop garden in downtown Houston. ACGA’s Annual Meeting and our annual Board meeting also took place. Special thanks to Kim Perry and Kay Bell, host committee chairs, and to their committee members, Urban Harvest, and our other sponsors.

Make plans now to join us for our 2024 conference. Additional details available soon.

Kim Perry of Urban Harvest worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the Houston conference a success. Working with her were co-chair Kay Bell and committee members Scott Howard, Terry Garner, Betty Bear, Janice Brown, and David Morris, along with Lara Fahnestock of Denver Urban Gardens, who served as liaison to the ACGA Board of Directors.

Terry Garner of Alabama Community Garden in Houston celebrates, as his garden wins best garden overall plus top spot in two additional categories.

Betty Bear, who lead the tours committee for the conference, shares insights (and funny stories) with ACGA conference goers during the tours. 

Picnic lunch, enjoyed in a garden during the tour, is another highlight.

Two powerful executives: Cathy Walker, ACGA's President (left), and Janna Roberson, Executive Director of Urban Harvest. Ms. Roberson also gave our inspiring keynote address. These two leaders were indispensable to the success of the Houston conference.

Garden tours are a traditional highlight of ACGA conferences, and Houston's diverse gardens delivered, with memorable stories, great ideas, and a world of diversity.

ACGA dances almost as much as we garden! Here conference goers shake away the blues during the Saturday night conference closing party and banquet, hosted at a rooftop farm in Houston. Yes, maybe all that dancing did contribute to global warming, but we make up for it with organic gardening and green community organizing.

Alyssa McKim and Michelle Gambon, ACGA Development Chair and ACGA super-volunteer and contractor respectively, take a quick break between workshops. Both made big contributions to the conference, as they both do all year long to help support ACGA's mission.

Learning is another tour benefit. Here, we get a taste of fresh garden veggies during a cooking demonstration. Both workshops and tours provide a wealth of insights and garden ideas.

A word of thanks to our sponsors

Our sponsors included Urban Harvest of Houston; The United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service;  Global Revive, The Doris Duke Foundation, Duke Farms; Go Grow Enviro Services; Tito's Handmade Vodka.; and Houston Community College. Special thanks to the staff at HCC's Alief Hayes Campus, which provided an ideal venue for our meetings and classes.

Kendall Rae Johnson, the youngest Certified Farmer in Georgia, meets Terry Garner of Urban Harvest's Alabama Street Garden. Bridging the gap between the old and the new.

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