Community Garden

We’re Planting Seeds…

The Access: Supports for Living Foundation Community Garden Project

Our Vision

Create a financially sustainable set of community gardens that offer the people we support opportunities to learn and develop skills while growing healthy foods for those dealing with food insecurity throughout our community.

Our Phase One Achievements:

The Community Garden Project was conceptualized through a partnership with funding from the Access: Supports for Living Foundation, the Lieutenant Gregg Atlas Foundation, and a grant received by Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Phase One of “Gregg’s Garden”, was planted in August 2022 by adults in our pre-vocational program, who planted and gardened radishes in above-ground containers at the Education Center and 4H park of Cornell Cooperative Extension. Named after Orange County native Lt. Gregg Atlas, a New York City Firefighter who lost his life on 9/11, Gregg’s passion was both his love of gardening and his commitment to supporting people with disabilities achieve their dreams.

Our Phase Two Plan

Phase Two commenced in mid-March of 2023 with the planting of seedlings under grow lights by Access’ community prevocational program under the supervision of Cornell Cooperative Extension. This year’s goal is to plant up to one acre of consumable produce to be returned to food pantries in Orange County.

Additionally, we have plans to optimize the existing rooftop garden at our affiliate, the Guidance Center of Westchester, which supports our Personalized Centered Recovery program for people recovering from Mental Health issues. We plan to implement an above-ground garden at our affiliate, New York Families for Autistic Children, in Howard Beach, Queens.

Our Goals:

  • Identify future sites throughout our affiliates network
  • Educate nutrition and wellness
  • Create a full cycle of giving back to the community as a resource to those with food insecurity

“The partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Lt. Gregg Atlas Foundation has afforded the people we support an incredible opportunity to plant, grow, and cultivate vegetables for our community. It’s the mission of what we do at Access we build Healthy Communities together.”
Karen Vaughan
Community Development Team Leader, Access: Supports for Living

“This garden brings me great joy! We get to honor and remember my husband Gregg as we support people with different abilities by doing something he loved to do – plant seeds and grow! May it be so for all who partake of Gregg’s Garden!”
JoAnn Atlas
Donor Fund Representative at Lieutenant Gregg Atlas Foundation

For more information, please contact:
Mariann Cheney,

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