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News Release

USDA Renews People’s Garden Initiative 

Contact:
Amelia Dortch
706-310-5108


Release No.: 011.22

Printable Version (PDF)

USDA Renews People’s Garden Initiative  

Athens, GA, May 3, 2022 – Today Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack planted a tree to announce the reopening of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) People’s Garden Initiative. People’s Gardens across the country will grow fresh, healthy food and support resilient, local food systems; teach people how to garden using conservation practices; nurture habitat for pollinators and wildlife and create greenspace for neighbors.  The garden at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. will be joined by 17 flagship gardens located in urban communities nationwide, including metro-Atlanta.

 “The simple act of planting a garden can have big impacts – from building a more diversified and resilient local food system to empowering communities to come together around healthy food access, climate change, and equity,” said Secretary Vilsack, who unveiled the upgraded garden flanking the National Mall. “We’re committed to our priorities, and we are leading by example,”.   

About the Gardens   

School gardens, community gardens, urban farms, and small-scale agriculture projects in rural and urban areas can be recognized as a “People’s Garden” if they:  

  • Benefit the community by providing food, green space, wildlife habitat, education space. 
  • Are a collaborative effort. This can include groups working together with USDA agencies, food banks, Girl Scouts, Master Gardeners, conservation districts, etc.   
  • Incorporate conservation management practices, such as using native plant species, rain barrels, integrated pest management, xeriscaping.  
  • Educate the public about sustainable gardening practices and the importance of local, diverse, and resilient food systems providing healthy food for the community.  

 USDA plans to expand the initiative to other communities later this year, among them is a garden near Atlanta, Georgia. More information about it and all the People’s Gardens will be available in the coming months.  

 To watch these gardens grow, visit our People’s Garden Webpage  or follow the hashtag #PeoplesGarden on USDA’s social media channels.   

More Information   

 USDA originally launched the People’s Garden Initiative in 2009. It’s named for the “People’s Department,” former President Abraham Lincoln’s nickname for USDA, which was established during his presidency in 1862.    

 USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.