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Canada: A Web Platform for Community Garden Management

Vancouver, BC: With 13 active gardens and over 500 gardeners to manage, they’ve had to develop digital solutions to keep track of membership and run annual registration drives.

By Adrick Brock
Community Garden App
www.communitygardenapp.com

To date, there are approximately 40,000 community gardens in North America, with membership ranging in the millions. Each of these gardeners needs to be allocated a bed and kept track of within a spreadsheet or database, and gardeners are often required to complete a registration process, sign a contract and pay a small fee for their bed––a set of administrative tasks that resets on an annual basis. The majority of these initiatives are run by volunteers, and depending on the size and complexity of the garden, administration can be laborious and time consuming. It’s a burden that often leads to frustration, burnout and poorly run organizations.

A team from Vancouver is tackling this challenge with a new web-based platform designed specifically for community garden management. Community Garden App offers garden managers a suite of digital tools to streamline their operations and reduce administrative headaches. The goal of the product is to save volunteer garden managers time; they can sign up gardeners, build email lists, collect fees online and track who’s registered and paid on a centralized dashboard.

The software is being developed by Community Garden Builders, a Vancouver-based social enterprise that builds and manages community gardens on vacant lots throughout the city. With 13 active gardens and over 500 gardeners to manage, they’ve had to develop digital solutions to keep track of membership and run annual registration drives. (There is no community garden-specific software available otherwise.) Based on the success of its beta versions, the team decided to develop a product that every community garden can make use of.

Community Garden App’s mission is to improve the function of community-based growing spaces. Their website reads: “We think that software can help community gardens modernize and adapt to an increasingly technologized world, and we’ve taken on their challenges because we believe that community gardens are an integral component of the push to democratize and urbanize agriculture and improve health, resilience and food security within our neighbourhoods.”

The platform is set to launch in early 2021, and the team is currently offering early access registration on its landing page. They’re inviting feedback from garden managers throughout Canada and the United States and encouraging anyone who’s interested to get in touch.

Landing page.