Rows of plants surrounded by a tan gravel walkway, with a chalkboard style sandwich board with colorful lettering and illustrations.

Meet the People’s Garden Initiative

The People’s Garden Initiative (PGI) has partnered with the Xerces Society to expand pollinator and beneficial insect outreach and education to community gardens nationwide! Managed by the USDA, the PGI was developed to celebrate resilient communities and innovative food systems across the U.S. Originally launched in 2009, the first flagship people’s garden was planted on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and now includes flagship gardens in 17 designated urban city hubs and nearly 1,600 registered gardens in communities across the U.S. 

The PGI operates under these three core criteria:

  1. Join the PGI community and get involved with others in the movement
  2. Grow sustainable farms, gardens, and habitat to benefit both people and wildlife
  3. Teach about growing local, sustainable, resilient, culturally significant food systems
A raised, planted garden bed with a green and white sign. Two people stand in the background near a large leafless tree on a sunny day. Plants and tall buildings behind them.
Taqua Community Farm in the Bronx, NY. A People’s Garden brings together people and pollinators, as evidenced by volunteers working to plant pollinator habitat. Credit: Kelly Gill / Xerces Society

People’s Garden Initiative is excited to cross pollinate with Bee City and Bee Campus USA! Both programs are working to bring nature and, in particular pollinators, into towns and cities. Many of PGI’s registered sites and BCU affiliates’ locations overlap, which provides opportunities for these groups to collaborate and further bring awareness on conservation education and opportunities in urban areas. BCU affiliates, check out some of these helpful and inspiring PGI resources: 

Tidy rows of small plants to the right of a tan walkway with large leafy trees in the background on a sunny day.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) headquarters’ People’s Garden, in Washington, D.C. Credit: Lance Cheung

To find out more about the People’s Garden Initiative:

  • See the PGI map to learn which gardens might be near your bee city or campus. 
  • Learn more about the initiative at
  • Follow PGI on USDA social media pages with #peoplesgarden. 

You can sign-up to get the monthly e-newsletter from the USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, including information on funding possibilities and opportunities available with the People’s Garden.

A crew of people remove a strip of asphalt using large equipment, A large brick building is in the background with a gray, mostly cloudy sky above.
High school students at The U School in Philadelphia, PA farmed extensively in raised beds and grow bags. Led by teacher Anna Herman and her students, their work was recognized when they were awarded funds as a flagship garden through the USDA Peoples’ Garden Initiative (PGI). Credit: Kass Urban-Mead
A raised, mulched garden bed with small plants is in the foreground, with another shot of the brick building at a different angle than the previous photo, showing a very large colorful mural against a bright but cloudy sky.
Students participate in seasonal food growing tasks and grow a wide range of food in raised beds and the new People’s Garden space. They take field trips to local community farms like the nearby Life Do Grow Farm, and learn about the science and social history of food systems and climate change. The farm installed a Xerces habitat kit. Credit: Kass Urban-Mead/Xerces Society

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