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Growing Communities Curriculum: How to Build Community Through Community Gardening
by Jeanette Abi-Nader, David Buckley, Kendall Dunnigan and Kristen Markley


ACGA's Growing Communities Curriculum  provides an in depth exploration of the practices and strategies community organizers can use to develop dynamic leaders and create strong programs using a participatory approach to community building. This 300+ page curriculum builds on the work of Cultivating Community and years of ACGA experiences, especially those of our From the Roots Up mentorship and training program.


Ten core principles of community building (chapter 1) form the foundation for a participatory approach to leadership, community and organizational development. Strategies for implementing these principles at the community garden level are covered in chapter 2, and how to create and strengthening a community garden organization (chapter 3).


Accompanying each of these core chapters is a set of curricula based on workshops as developed and presented by professional trainers. To strengthen the impact of these workshops, information on adult learning and workshop facilitation (chapter 4) is included. Finally, the Growing Communities Curriculum includes an appendix with resources lists, handouts and other useful information.


Workshops Included in the Curriculum

  • Diversity
  • Asset-Based Community Development
  • Community Organizing 101
  • Leadership Development
  • Meeting Facilitation and Group Decision-Making
  • Developing a Board of Directors
  • Grassroots Fundraising - The Basics
  • Grassroots Fundraising - Specific Strategies
  • Communications Planning
  • Coalition Building

Growing Communities Curriculum (print)

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