The Gardens Program builds food communities in neighborhoods and schools, improving access to healthy produce while raising agricultural awareness. The bulk of program activity comes through two communal activities: Community Gardens, aimed at residents interested in learning about and experiencing growing activities, and School Gardens, which help educators and students better understand the food system connections, from growing produce to making healthy eating choices.

Community Gardens

Our Community Gardens program facilitates the creation and management of community gardens in Sarasota County, to support community development and sustainable local agriculture. The program:

  • Supports urban agriculture
  • Promotes a sense of community
  • Helps reduce food costs
  • Improves health and nutrition
  • Enhances recreational opportunities

Visit our Community Gardens page to learn more about the program.

School Gardens

Whether focused on fruits and vegetables, native plants, or wildlife, school gardens provide students with hands-on connections to science, math, nutrition, and a variety of other subjects. In fact, studies have shown that students score higher on achievement tests after spending time in the garden.

At more than 60 gardens at schools and other locations across Sarasota County, we connect students, teachers, and parents to:

  • The expertise of UF/IFAS Extension-trained volunteers
  • How-to resources for creating successful gardens
  • Free, public workshops on a broad array of topics
  • A wealth of design, curriculum and grant ideas
  • Community partners and other school gardens

Visit our School Gardens page to learn more about the program.


“What’s up, Doc?” Is this a carrot top or a weed?

By Mindy Hanak Gardens Program Coordinator Planting carrots was a consistently popular request this season as we, along with Master Garden volunteers and staff from other UF/IFAS Extension...

Set down some (community) gardening roots

Get back to (or set down anew) your gardening roots! Culverhouse Community Garden has four, highly coveted plots available for the 2018-19 growing season. The Culverhouse plots, like those in all community gardens overseen by Sarasota County...

Neighbor helping neighbor inspires art in the garden

By MINDY HANAK Gardens Program Coordinator You’ve probably heard of arts in the park programs, a popular way to make art accessible to the public. But how about “arts in the...