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REC’s UGROW (Urban Gardens Resources of Worcester) program supports a network of gardens and gardeners across the city, enhancing both food access and urban greenspaces

Our Story

UGROW began in 1995 with 1 garden and 1 volunteer gardener with a vision to grow food in the city. Today, the network has grown to include over 70 community gardens throughout the city of Worcester involving more than 600 volunteer gardeners.


The community garden network includes neighborhood gardens, school/learning gardens, organizational/institutional gardens, and urban farms. Becoming a member of our UGROW network is free and provides you with a number of benefits. 

Woman in front of garden

Our Network Includes:

Neighborhood Gardens

Neighborhood Gardens

Shared plots for neighbors to collectively maintain

Institutional Gardens

Organizational / Institutional Gardens

Used by residents or participants at community organizations, public housing, and nonprofits; they are not open to the public 

Girl smiling at school garden

School / Learning Gardens

Gardens located at schools and/or involve educational programs

Urban Farm

Urban Farms

Gardens where at least a portion of the produce is grown to be sold for markets rather than personal consumption

Community Kitchen Garden

Interested in joining a community garden?

Fill out our interest form before March 31st for the best chance at securing a garden plot in your neighborhood!

Group smiling at youthGROW farm

Community Gardens
Across Worcester


Membership Benefits


*Resource Guides &

Technical Support

(developing garden plans, creating project budgets, and identifying small grants and funding opportunities)

*Free City Compost Delivery
*Soil Testing Support
*Free Seedlings from our Annual Plant Sale
*An Official Garden Sign


Image by Zobia Shakar

help grow the rec seed library

We're now accepting donations! Bring in seeds collected from your garden or extras you may have and we'll distribute them to gardeners in the UGROW Network.

  • How do I join a neighborhood garden?
    If you are primarily looking for a place to grow for yourself, fill out the REC Community Gardener Plot Interest Form. The REC does not own or directly manage member gardens; our staff can help connect you to the volunteer community garden coordinators at networks sites across the city. Please know that gardens in our network vary in size and structure; filling out this form does not guarantee you a plot. If a plot is not immediately available, your contact information will be added to a waitlist and you will be notified of any future plot openings. Priority for spring placement is given to those that complete this form by March 31st. Learn more about neighborhood gardens here!
  • Can I volunteer with the UGROW network?
    Yes! We post available community garden volunteer opportunites on our Volunteer page. If you want to see how you can help out at our School Gardens, email our School Gardens Coordinator at to express interest.
  • I'm looking for help with my backyard garden.
    While we support and encourage home growing, we are not currently able to provide material support for home gardens serving a single household. You can check out our Gardening Resource page for tips, tricks and helpful guides.

Thank You to Our Lead UGROW Sponsors!

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