The Town of Amherst Conservation Department offers two sites for Community Gardeners:
Amethyst Brook Conservation Area & Fort River Farm
Fort River Farm Community Garden:
Background: The Fort River Community Garden is located at the Fort River Farm Conservation Area, which is owned by the Town of Amherst and managed by the Town of Amherst Conservation Department. This is the inaugural year of the garden, so there are many things that we are still working on getting up and running! The garden was started by a group of community volunteers and staff from Healthy Hampshire and the Town of Amherst that formed the Fort River Community Garden Circle, which functions like a collective.
Here is a google map with a marker for the garden. To get to the Fort River Community Garden, turn at the driveway of 44-48 Belchertown Rd and follow the driveway all the way until the end – pass Verite. Parking is available outside of the garden in a gravel lot. The entire garden area, which is enclosed by a fence, is grassy, uneven soil. Soon, there will be mulched pathways, but we expect that the ground will continue to be somewhat uneven, and not suitable for wheelchairs. The raised beds are 1.5 feet high, with pathways between that are greater than three feet. Currently, the only water available is through a hand pump, and water has to be carried from the pump to the plots (we plan to have a water tank and hoses available in the next month). The pump is located on the fence side of the raised beds. We will have a toolbox with basic tools such as shovels, trowels and watering cans that are available for anyone to use.
If you are interested in applying for a gardening plot at the Fort River Farm Community garden, please click here to complete and submit your application.
We have ONE plot open at Amethyst Conservation Area. For more information about Community Gardens - please call Angela 413-259-3292
UPDATES 2022 SEASON:
We are asking for a $10 donation to garden with us this season. Please mail your check made out to "Town of Amherst" to: Conservation Dept., Town Hall, 4 Boltwood Avenue, Amherst, MA 01002.
We invite you to watch the promotional video below for more information. Video was produced by Benjamin Byman (Summer Intern 2021 - Houston Fellowship - Amherst College).
Community gardens provide access to fresh produce and plants as well as access to satisfying labor, neighborhood improvement, sense of community and connection to the environment. Some gardeners choose to solely grow flowers, while other gardeners grow vegetables for their own personal use, or to share with their neighbors.
Benefits of Community Gardens
- Improves the quality of life for people in the garden
- Provides a catalyst for neighborhood and community development
- Stimulates Social Interaction
- Encourages Self-Reliance
- Beautifies Neighborhoods
- Produces Nutritious Food
- Reduces Family Food Budgets
- Conserves Resources
- Creates opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education
- Reduces Crime
- Preserves Green Space
- Reduces city heat from streets and parking lots