East Helena Garden is unique among the gardens managed by Helena Community Gardens, as this site involves many partners who’ve been working to expand fresh food options and education in East Helena and the surrounding rural community.
The garden began in 2010, when 5th grade teacher Liz Townsend, her class, and Eagle Scout candidate Bret Hoffman had the vision to bring the East Helena Public Schools and community together to create a community garden in East Helena. The garden was established on restored land with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund Redevelopment support.
Since then, the partnership has blossomed. East Helena School District provides space on the school grounds, water services, and long-term planning for the growth of the gardens and greenhouse program as an educational opportunity for students. Helena Community Gardens and Helena Food Share offer ongoing oversight of the garden plots and share summer interns to help weed, plant, water, and oversee the space on behalf of the community. Other critical partners include the East Helena Food/Culture Hub (a partnership between The Myrna Loy, the City of East Helena, the East Helena School District, and the EPA); No Kid Hungry; AERO; and Engineers Without Borders at Carroll College.