Wasatch Community Gardens' Campus

PROJECT VISION 

Imagine a late summer afternoon...

  • A Kindergarten class from YWCA is crawling on hands and knees through the garden, acting as “bug detectives” in search of beneficial insects.
  • Two community gardeners are harvesting produce from their plots, comparing notes on this year’s tomato crop.
  • Workshop participants are arriving for an evening, hands-on workshop on building healthy soil.
  • A volunteer group is taking a break from spreading mulch, sipping cold water from the artesian well.
  • WCG’s Executive Director and a generous supporter are sitting under the pergola in the shade, observing the programs firsthand.
  • Passersby are picking raspberries along the “U-Pick-It” fence along the garden’s perimeter. 

Our vision for the Wasatch Community Gardens’ Campus is to transform a 1.2-acre property in the heart of Salt Lake’s Central City neighborhood into a community resource dedicated to urban agriculture, community building, education, and stewardship. The Wasatch Community Gardens’ Campus will provide a welcoming and inspiring space where community members can learn, share, and connect with each other through a shared love of gardening and healthy food. 

PROJECT BACKGROUND 

Since 2012, WCG has dreamed of putting down our roots and creating an urban agriculture center to serve Salt Lake County residents and house the organization. Since then, we’ve worked on defining the goals of the space, creating stakeholders, and identifying an appropriate space. In the fall of 2017, three parcels of land directly adjacent to our flagship Grateful Tomato Garden (615 E 800 S, Salt Lake City) were listed for sale, and, in under a month, we were successful in raising the necessary funds to purchase these properties. In late 2018, we were able to re-zone these properties to allow for commercial use so that we can locate our offices in the existing homes on the properties. We are now working on construction level documents for the Campus and have a capital campaign goal of $6.2 million to complete our vision. 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION 

To make our dream a reality, we are now working to transform the properties adjacent to our Grateful Tomato Garden into the Wasatch Community Gardens’ Campus. The Campus will include a garden education cottage with a teaching kitchen and indoor learning space, office space for our program and administrative staff, expanded and enhanced teaching and demonstration gardens allowing us to host multiple youth and adult classes simultaneously, and an innovative, green, and affordable residential component that will provide rental income for WCG and additional security for the garden and neighborhood. 

COMMUNITY IMPACT 

By creating an urban agriculture center that serves as a showcase for the simple yet powerful impacts that come from growing fresh food in a dense, urban setting, we believe we can bring even more people together around gardening and fresh, healthy food. Specifically, the Campus will provide community members with: 

  • More hands-on gardening education opportunities, with up to 25% more workshop offerings annually.
  • Enhanced teaching spaces where youth and school groups can learn about growing and eating healthy food. Indoor education spaces for year-round learning.
  • Continued opportunities to grow their own food in the onsite community garden.
  • Additional demonstration gardens where visitors can learn about different food growing techniques, such as vertical gardening, container gardening, and using a greenhouse or hoop house to extend the growing season.
  • ADA accessible facilities and opportunities for adaptive garden programs.
  • Expanded educational opportunities for adult audiences, such as garden clubs, corporate groups, and special/underserved populations.
  • Rentable indoor/outdoor event space for weddings, birthday parties, and corporate events. 

HOW YOU CAN HELP 

We have begun soliciting lead and major gifts for our capital campaign to create the Wasatch Community Gardens’ Campus, with a goal of launching a public campaign in spring of 2020. To learn more about this project and to make a financial contribution, please contact WCG’s Executive Director, Ashley Patterson, at 801-359-2658 ext. 15 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thanks to GSBS Architects and Giv Development for all of their support of this project.