Skip to content

Green Thumb Conference


34th Annual GreenThumb GrowTogether Conference

Join NYC Parks GreenThumb as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary, where we’ll be “Honoring Our Roots” and kicking-off the community gardening season in New York City! The day will be packed with workshops and kids’ activities.

This year’s GrowTogether Conference will feature a keynote address by Karen Washington – a pioneer and advocate for community gardens and food justice, a member of La Familia Verde Community Garden Coalition, and the co-founder of the Black Urban Growers.

Children 12 years old and under are free!

The first 500 people to purchase a ticket in advance will receive a free 40th-anniversary gift.

Schedule for the Day

8:15 a.m. – Registration Opens

8:30-9:15 a.m. – Everyone move to the theater to be seated

9:25 a.m. – Opening Ceremony begins

9:30 a.m. -Welcome & Speakers

9:50 – Keynote Speaker – Karen Washington

10:25 a.m. – Announce winner of the T- shirt Contest

10:30 a.m. – Performance by Raízes do Brazil

10:45 a.m. – Opening Ceremony Close

11:00-12:15 p.m. – Workshop Session 1

11:00-2:30 p.m. – Exhibits / Networking Area

11:00-2:30 p.m. – T-Shirt Pick Up

12:25-1:25 p.m. – Lunch Session A

12:25-1:25 p.m. – Workshop Session 2A

1:35-2:35 p.m. – Lunch Session B

1:35-2:35 p.m. – Workshop Session 2B

2:45- 4:00 p.m. – Workshop Session 3

Featured Panels

Floods, Bugs, and Dog Days: Gardening in the Age of Climate Change

Mild winters, summer droughts, and heavy storms are impacting growers throughout the region. More garden pests and diseases are surviving the winter and weed issues are changing. As many gardeners know all too well, Superstorm Sandy damaged community gardens and wreaked havoc on our city. Come share what you’ve been experiencing with the changing climate in your garden and discuss what to do about it with representatives of community gardens and grassroots organizations on the front lines of fighting climate change.

Growing Healing Spaces in Community Gardens with Plants

Gardeners and urban farmers across the city are extending community healing spaces into their gardens. They have been growing and using plant medicines to strengthen the community, reimagine care, reconnect to their ancestors, and reclaim agency of their self-care. Join Karen Rose, Founder of Sacred Vibes Apothecary, for an in-depth panel discussion with growers of herbal medicine from the Bronx to Brooklyn.

Garden Legends: Get into the Weeds with the Community Gardeners who helped Shape the Movement

Hear from the community gardeners who were there from the beginning, cleaning up vacant lots and turning them into the community space we know and love today. GreenThumb invites longtime gardeners to share their stories, histories, and what keeps them going.

Seed Keeping: Storytelling and the Importance of Saving Seeds

Through storytelling, learn how our community farms lift up the importance of our cultural seeds, just as people who move around the world honor and continue their traditions through seed keeping. Gardeners who attend this workshop will receive heirloom seeds grown by community farms for Truelove Seeds to plant in their own community gardens.Owen Taylor, Truelove Seeds (Philadelphia, PA)

More than 50 Workshops On:

  • Cultivating Community Engagement
  • Financial and Political Support
  • Food Justice
  • Gardening and Horticulture
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Making Things with Plants and Herbs
  • Specialized Workshops for Teachers and Garden Educators