Giving Gardens Project

Volunteering at Wagner Farm Arboretum provides a rewarding experience where help is ALWAYS appreciated. There is a task for all levels of experience and capability.  You may download the Giving Garden Brochure by clicking wfa-ggp-brochure. Contact [email protected] or 908-350-7383. 

Project Description

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The purpose of the Giving Gardeners’ Project (GGP) is to produce vegetables dedicated to feed families, individuals, and elderly who do not have the resources to acquire a nutritional, healthy, and fresh meal. Produce is distributed through agencies such as Food Bank Network of Somerset County, Star Fish, Interfaith Food Pantry and soup kitchens.  

The Giving Gardeners’ Project (GGP) is a service and educational program operated entirely by volunteers through the Wagner Farm Arboretum, a non-profit organization.

GGP partners with the Wagner Farm Arboretum “Growing To Give” educational program and the local elementary schools to help students plant seeds, learn about the environment and understand the social aspects of giving back to a community. The Children plant seeds in flats and tend them for several weeks in their classrooms. Then in the Spring, they plant the seedlings in the Giving Garden plots.

The GGP also helps at the Rutgers Experimental Station in Pittstown to harvest produce delivered to the Food Banks.


Some of the Garden Plots are adopted by Volunteers groups, families, or individuals. Some groups have been coming back each year to tend the same plot. Other plots are assigned each year to new groups or individuals. There is a lot to do in the Garden, and some help is provided by Corporate, Business, or community and school groups who arrange to spend a few hours tending the garden.

Volunteer tasks are seasonal and include:

  • preparing the beds in Spring
  • planting vegetable seeds or seedlings
  • weeding beds and paths
  • harvesting the vegetables
  • clearing the beds at the end of the season
  • delivering produce to area agencies
  • assisting with volunteer groups
  • coordinating educational programs

The Project has many helpful volunteers that can coach you on tasks that need to be done.  We welcome arranging your “Volunteer Day” at Wagner Farm Arboretum. 

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Other ways you can help

Through generous donations and grants from individuals and corporations over the years, the GGP has been able to install an irrigation system that allows for a consistent and automatic watering of the plants, a 3-season hoop house for sheltering seedlings, gravel walkways, raised garden beds, blueberry and blackberry shrub enclosures.

For more information, please call 908-350-7383 or email [email protected].

In the News!

  • Read about “The Vision”.
  • See the Helping Hands video by clicking here and select “Season 3: 13, Giving Gardens“.
  • Read about Ernie Cottrill’s”Seeds of Hope Award” in NJ Monthly Magazine
  • View the clip below shown on MSNBC around 2003!

Find us in

[VolunteerMatch - Where Volunteering Begins.]   And Facebook