Princeton, NJ – June 11, 2020 – Residents have taken it upon themselves to construct neighborhood gardens throughout their community. The project offers a healthy way for neighbors to work together under the sun.

“We would like to see more of these,” Co-founder Larry Spruill said. “I’ve spoken with some of the people that live in the community, especially some of the people in the moderate income housing, and they would love to have gardens so they could plant their own vegetables.”

Four 4’ x 8’ garden beds have been built in the first batch, with the hope that more will be built throughout the Princeton area in the near future. The founders of the Princeton Free Garden Project also plan on making the gardens sustainable by using recycled or donated lumber, hoses and tomato cages.

“This is about sustainability, or really more resiliency,” Co-founder Jim Davidge said. “[This is] building resiliency into a community by allowing them to grow their own food.”

The gardens offer a fun community-building experience for people of all ages and backgrounds, as well as a sustainable option for dinnertime. 

Leaders in the neighborhoods will make sure that the gardens are taken care of, from planting to watering daily and, finally, harvesting. Two sets of crops will be planted per year; one during the Summer, and one during the Fall. The first summer batch of crops includes tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, squash and zucchini.

The gardens are funded by Ross Wishnick, The Princeton Family YMCA, Glenmede Trust, and The Bank of Princeton.

“So this is a start,” Spruill said. “I’m hoping that from this small plot here at the YMCA we’ll see it grow all over the community.”

If you live in Princeton, NJ and want to learn more about getting involved in the Free Garden Project, contact Ross Wishnick at

Story by Jarod Meyer

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