ABOUT GATHER NEW HAVEN
Gather New Haven is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization located in New Haven, CT, committed to social and environmental justice. Gather New Haven promotes health, equity and justice for people and the environment by cultivating connections and access to our lands and waters and by inspiring us to care for our wellbeing, our shared community, and our environment.
The 5 farms and more than 45 community gardens managed by Gather promote public health and community development, most notably through the Farm-Based Wellness program, which engages individuals with diet-related chronic disease risk factors as well as their families in gardening and nutrition education. We also host and support a variety of other events in the farms and gardens such as Yoga in the Garden and the Saturday Farm Stand as a part of promoting wellness and fostering community development.
As we strive to work alongside the community and create sustainable community-based programming, we are also building a leadership pipeline by designing job opportunities for member of the communities in which we work. Each community garden is led by a garden coordinator, a local community member who manages their local community gardeners and plots. Community garden members are all encouraged to serve on the Community Garden Committee, supporting our Community Garden Manager in stewarding the health of both the gardens and the community growers. Additionally, graduates of our Farm-Based Wellness program can become Community Health Ambassadors (CHAs), returning to the Farm-Based Wellness program as leaders and mentors, helping the next generation of participants achieve their goals and work through any challenges that may arise. CHAs also provide program support and run additional exercise programming.
Equally important to community development and health, is our focus on maintaining an accessible natural environment through land conservation and environmental stewardship as well as through educational and recreational programming. Our 6 nature preserves, featuring natural resources and habitats throughout New Haven, play host to field trips, guided nature walks, and other educational programming in an effort to connect people to the abundance of nature in New Haven.
From programs designed specifically for children and youth to adult leadership education, our educational programs are as expansive as the rest of our work. Community Health Ambassadors participate in leadership training and further nutrition and wellness education. Through a series of workshops, they learn about communication styles, behavior change methodologies, socio-economic barriers to health, food safety, and more. Graduates of the FBWP are invited to c participate in a community garden, where they have space to grow their own food in community gardens using the skill they learned during the FBWP.
Our two major youth opportunities include the Growing Entrepreneurs program, working with New Haven, high school students to develop small-business ventures with an overall positive impact on the environment and the New Haven community, and Schooner Camp, a summer camp bringing children age 6-14 to the Connecticut shoreline to learn about the rich coastal habitat of the Long Island Sound through shore exploration and sailing.
Together our multifaceted programming centers on the intersections of urban agriculture, public health, education, environmental stewardship, and community development. As a community-driven organization, we are ever growing and adapting to the expressed needs and desires of our New Haven community, working for equity and justice for our community and our environment. End goal: neighbors and nature thriving together.
Inclusion and Belonging: We co-create welcoming and inclusive spaces with practices that are grounded in shared decision making and that reflect, respect, and honor the rich array of experiences, cultures, and contributions of our diverse community.
Power of Place: We affirm the power of land and water as sources of our health and well-being. We hold them in trust – now and for future generations – through interdependent governance with the New Haven community.
Equity: Equitable access to land, water, and food is a source of strength for all communities. We recognize the injustices that exist in our world and pledge ourselves, our knowledge, and our resources to bring about lasting and transformational change in ourselves, our organization, and our community.
Curiosity and Learning: We believe a deep understanding of our natural world and of each other emerges through intentional exchange, humble inquiry, open dialogue, and hands-on experience. We cultivate emerging, authentic, and restorative approaches to learning that align with community aspirations and help build a shared body of knowledge that is grounded in rigorous examination, evidence, and feedback.
Accountability and Integrity: We uphold the highest standards of honesty, transparency, integrity, and open communication in our work and relationships to ensure we stay accountable to our community, our mission, and our values.
CARE: Community Alliance for Research and Engagement
City of New Haven
Cold Spring School
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Connecticut Mental Health Center
Connecticut Department of Agriculture
Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center
Fair Haven Community Health Care
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation
Hill Regional Career High School
New Haven Food Policy Council
New Haven’s Livable City Initiative
New Haven Land Trust
Newman’s Own Foundation
Peels & Wheels Composting
Southern Connecticut State University
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
Yale Primary Care
Yale School of Public Health
Gather New Haven was established following the merger of New Haven Farms and New Haven Land Trust in 2020. Schooner, Inc., a New Haven environmental education organization with a long history, had previously merged into the New Haven Land Trust. Together, we gathered our resources and commitments to integrate our programs, staff, and systems to move forward as a unified organization.
Neighbors and Nature Thriving Together / Vecinos y Naturaleza Prosperando Juntos
Our tagline conveys our commitment to connecting people to each other as well as to our shared natural resources, and the importance of doing so to grow a vibrant community.
Gather New Haven promotes health, equity, and justice for people and the environment by cultivating connections with each other and our local lands and waters, and by inspiring us to care for ourselves, our community, and the natural world.
Our mission reflects the shared histories and commitments of our predecessor organizations while challenging us to grow deeper in our collective engagement with our community.
Gather New Haven’s predecessor organizations worked closely over a number of years with inherently connected missions and a common commitment to the New Haven community and environment. Over time, the partnership expanded as we shared farm and garden sites, collaborated on programming, and supported one another’s programs. Our organizations ultimately came to realize we could accomplish far more together than independently. Gather New Haven was thus born as New Haven Land Trust and New Haven farms officially became a merged entity. New Haven Land Trust, Connecticut’s first urban land trust, was founded in 1982 to preserve open land in New Haven and give city residents opportunities to access and learn about the environment.
Schooner, Inc. was also founded in the early 1980’s. New Haven Farms was founded in 2012, growing out of the Fair Haven Community Health Center Diabetes Prevention Program. Prior to the merger we convened three community forums to discuss our merger. Those conversations highlighted the value people place on the strong community connections they have created in our gardens, preserves, and through our various programs. Graduates of our Farm-Based Wellness Program as well as our community gardeners are passionate about creating community spaces, growing food, and promoting community health. Our nature preserves attract families, neighbors and bird watchers engaged in protecting and enjoying the natural environment. Our new name, tagline, and mission reflects how important it is for people to connect with each other as they connect with the natural landscape.
We are reaching out to our constituents and gathering our various resources to respond to emerging needs in our communities. We have offered our cooler space for food storage and partnered with other organizations to expand food production. We are also looking beyond current crises to a future in which Gather New Haven plays a critical role in cultivating opportunities, places, experiences, and events that bring people together in common purpose to build a strong, resilient, equitable, and healthy New Haven.
We invite our many supporters and funders to join us in the next stage of our work as we mobilize people and resources to become a more healthy and vibrant community where neighbors and nature thrive together.