The Community Garden on the property of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Sun Prairie consists of eighteen tall, raised wooden beds that provide space for community members to grow vegetables and flowers for personal and family use. The church also maintains a “donation bed” designed to produce food for the Sunshine Place Emergency Food Pantry. The donation bed and individual gardeners’ donations provided over 141 pounds of produce to the pantry this past year.
The first phase of the community garden was started in 2017 using a diocesan Ministry Grant with a goal of “strengthening the congregation’s identity and purpose” by helping Good Shepherd to turn outward and place a focus on how the church could be of be of benefit to the neighborhood and community”. The gardens were expanded in 2019, were listed in a local and national community garden registry in 2020, and the vestry approved joining The Episcopal Church’s “Good News Gardens” Evangelism and Creation Care Ministry in 2021. The Gardens are currently also listed on The Episcopal Church Good News Gardens website.
At a time when there is a nationwide resurgence of interest in food gardening and a local movement toward teaching and learning more about growing food as a way of addressing social disparities and inclusion, the garden now has a waiting list! The raised beds with wide mulched paths between allow accessibility for individuals with mobility issues.
More gardeners have expressed a desire for social gatherings and gardening, cooking, and food preservation classes. Initially, attendance at such events was limited as we learned our community gardeners were too busy working, or reluctant to attend for fear of being evangelized. Our recent Blessing of the Gardens was held between Sunday church services. Our social activities are planned to accommodate work schedules and evening hours when the gardens are most welcoming.
For information, contact:
Amy Dunlop GSEC CG coordinator at
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church Community Garden