Woman tending her plot at Greenwich Community Garden

We’re a change agent for a sustainable, fair food system

Southside Community Land Trust (SCLT) serves people in economically challenged, urban neighborhoods where fresh produce is scarce and who, as a result, are at risk for life-threatening, diet-related, chronic diseases.

We help by:

  • educating people about diet and nutrition, agriculture and the environment
  • building and managing community gardens and urban farms
  • providing low-cost agricultural resources and support to community gardeners
  • training urban farmers and enabling them to sell their produce to members of their communities

SCLT owns or directly manages 21 community gardens [link to Land: Community Gardens] in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls, and partners with schools, housing and community organizations to manage another 37. We also own or manage land used by 14 farmers to supply fresh fruits and vegetables to farmers markets, food businesses, restaurants and CSAs. [link to Resources: Where to buy locally grown food] Lastly, we operate three production farms in Providence and Pawtucket where we practice and demonstrate bio-intensive, small-scale agricultural production.

History

SCLT was founded in 1981 when three Brown University graduates helped organize residents of South Providence and newly arrived Hmong refugees to grow culturally familiar, nutritious food. With the backing of a local philanthropist, they bought an abandoned lot in South Providence, cleared it of debris and created the area’s first community garden. The Somerset Garden not only improved residents’ diets and economic self-reliance, it stabilized a neighborhood weakened by arson, neglect and crime.

In 1986 City Farm [ Land: City Farm] was established across the street as a production and demonstration farm to teach people about bio-intensive farming practices. Since then we have transformed nearly 32 acres of land into 53 community gardens and farms in Rhode Island. This includes managing a 24-acre rural farm that hosts 7 small farm businesses. We helped found three farmers markets as well as three growers’ collaboratives that enable individual farmers to bring their produce to market.

SCLT’s goal is to make fresh, nutritious food abundant and affordable so that everyone in our state, regardless of income, can eat well and live well. Join us!

Learn about SCLT’s history and impact in this video made for our 30th anniversary.