Green Guerillas: NYC Food Based Community Organization Spotlight

by Alexina Cather, MPH

What they do: Since 1973 Green Guerillas has been creating partnerships between people who care about the earth and believe in the power of community gardening to transform neighborhoods.

How they do it: Green Guerillas helps community gardeners get the materials, people power, and funding they need to strengthen vibrant community gardens, produce bountiful harvests, and engage youth.

Mission: “Green Guerillas uses a unique mix of education, organizing and advocacy to help people cultivate community gardens, sustain grassroots groups, grow food, engage youth, and address issues critical to the future of their gardens.”

Latest project/campaign: Youth Poised – a program that challenges youth to evaluate applications and award grants to food-growing  community garden groups in central Brooklyn.

Major Funding: M.B & Edna Zale Foundation, Merck Family Fund, Land Trust Alliance, Scherman Foundation

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual budget: $403,000

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: Green Guerillas is launching the Grow Vertical NYC Campaign – a campaign to help community gardeners use innovative, sustainable vertical growing methods to maximize growing space in tight spaces and increase the harvest.


Location: Manhattan

Core Programs: Plant and material giveaways, Harvest for Neighborhoods Campaign, the Youth Farm, Grow Vertical NYC Campaign, and support for the Bronx and Manhattan Land Trusts.

Number of staff: 18 (made up of staff, interns, and consultants)

Number of volunteers: 75

Areas served: All five boroughs

Date started: 1973

Director: Steve Frillmann

Contact information: (212) 594-2155,, Website

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