Community Giving Gardens

Knoxville Y Community Giving Gardens

One-third of the kids in East Tennessee grow up in homes without enough food. So, the Y decided to act! Due to this need, the YMCA of East Tennessee created its Community Giving Gardens. The gardens provide fresh produce to those without access in the Knoxville area.

The three Community Giving Gardens are located at the Davis Family Y, the Cansler Family Y, and on the rooftop of the Lindsay Young Downtown Y. Throughout the 2016 season, the gardens donated over 5,300 pounds of produce to local partner food banks including FISH Hospitality Pantries, Manna House, and the C.A.R.E. Food Pantry.

Most of all, the gardens rely on generous volunteers. Because volunteers donate their time, skills, and supplies, the gardens can continue the to provide fresh, quality produce to those in need.

If you want to get involved with this community project, contact Ellen. Find out how you can help at one of our three locations. Also, click here to find out about special events and Master Gardener classes at the Y.


In addition to growing healthy foods, the Y Community Giving Gardens have a commitment to education. Features of the gardens include:

  • raised soil and permaculture beds
  • multiple types of hydroponics systems
  • recycled container planters
  • native pollinator gardens
  • drip irrigation to conserve water
  • vermiculture and composting bins
  • chickens

The gardens use all of these features as outdoor classrooms.

As a result of this commitment to education, the Y Community Giving Gardens partner with Beaumont Magnet Academy. Beaumont is a Community School, and the Y helps to teach garden lessons and maintain the school garden. The Y also provides a field trip to Primrose Elementary each summer. Furthermore, the Y presents garden programs to kids in the Bridge program, helps college students meet their community service hours, and works with summer camps like Our Place Art Organization.

Click here to see more pictures of the gardens in action.

Local Partners

Close collaborations with community partners make continuing to grow the gardens possible. Special thanks to these businesses for their time, donations, and support:

Community Giving Garden News



2015 Downtown Y Community Giving Garden Dedication
2013 How Does A Community Garden Grow?
2013 Summer Garden Video
2012 Summer School Partnership