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 6 farms and more than 50 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 can also participate in the Incubator Garden program, where they have space to grow their own food in community gardens using the skill they learned during the FBWP, receiving additional training and support from our farms and gardening staff.
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.