Welcome to the Willowtown Community Garden

Garden Goals

  • Provide a safe venue for the cultivation of food and flowers, as well as casual education between gardeners - whether it be sharing gardening advice, harvest methods, food preservation/drying/storage tips, recipes, or pest management.

  • Foster an inclusive and engaged garden community to neighbors regardless of experience, age, culture, or ability.

  • Maintain safe, clean and fun places for food production, healthy recreation, and community building for current and future generations.

Gardener Agreement

All active gardeners must submit a signed copy of this agreement prior to planting.

Shared Amenities & Responsibilities

  • I understand that the Willowtown Community Garden is a Willowtown community resource managed by current gardeners and monitored by the Willowtown Association.

  • In exchange for one plot and garden key, I agree to pay a nonrefundable annual fee of $50.00 to the Willowtown Association to help fund general garden expenses (cash or check).

  • I understand the garden is open daily, dawn to dusk, to all current gardeners, their families, and guests.

  • I will participate in the Spring Cleanup Day to prep my plot and all communal areas of the garden.

  • Tools or areas I use will be cleaned and returned after use. Tools will never leave the garden.

  • I will check the garden page on the Willowtown website and my email inbox for updates.


  • It is my responsibility to test my plot’s soil prior to planting.

  • I will not use fertilizers, insecticides, or weed repellents that will in any way affect other plots.

  • I will not obstruct the circulation paths immediately surrounding my plot with pots/planters.

  • I will have my plot planted by May 12, and will keep it planted all summer.

  • I will plant tall crops only where they will not shade out neighboring plots.

  • I will only harvest my own crops, unless given permission by another plot owner.

  • If I plan to be absent for more than two weeks, I will arrange for a fellow gardener or friend to tend my plot. If I must abandon my plot, I will notify the Willowtown Association and will return my key.


  • I will keep weeds to a minimum and maintain the circulation paths immediately surrounding my plot. If my plot or the areas around it become unkempt, I understand that I will be given two-weeks notice to clean it up before my plot will be re-assigned.

  • I will not leave debris of any kind in or around my plot or adjacent fences.

  • I will dispose of weeds and plant waste in the designated areas.


  • I will keep garden gates closed and locked at all times.

  • I will supervise my family members or visitors and will not bring pets, unless they remain leashed.

  • If vandalism of theft occurs, I will notify the Willowtown Association immediately.

  • I understand that the Willowtown Association, Willowtown Community Garden, and the Property Owners are not responsible for my actions or possessions and agree to hold harmless the Willowtown Association, Willowtown Community Garden, or the Property Owners for any liability, damage, loss, or claim that occurs in connection with my use of the garden or any of my guests.


  • I will conserve my use of water and ensure all hoses and spigots are turned off prior to exiting the garden.

  • I will notify the Willowtown Association of any leaks in the water line, hose, or spigot.

  • I will keep hoses neatly rolled up and stored near each spigot.

  • I will mulch with leaves, grass clippings, or hay to reduce water evaporation.

By signing below, I take full responsibility as primary gardener for the agreement above:

  • Email (required):

  • Mailing Address:

  • Phone:

  • Name:

  • Date:

  • Plot #:


Plot Availability

The garden is currently full with no available plots. Please email us if you would like to be added to the waitlist.

Garden Director

Hillary Archer  


Ideas for 2019

  • Test Soil

  • Bring Back the Hops!

  • Install New User-Friendly Hose Systems

  • Combat Invasive Bindweed (Perennial Morning Glory)

  • Plant New Roses, Shrubs, and Perennials

  • Plant Adjacent Tree Pits Along Garden Fence

  • Revive A Compost System

  • Garden Parties, Potlucks, & Plant Swaps

  • Workshops & Local Field Trips

  • Fundraise

Site History

The site of the gardens was once filled with houses that were demolished in phases for construction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway between 1937 and 1964.  A park was built in 1947 in the resulting vacant area along Columbia Place and the BQE, first called Atlantic Playground, then named State Street Park. In the late 1990's, the Willowtown Association advocated for a redesign of the park, which resulted in new landscaping, play equipment, improved basketball courts, a new dog run, and the community gardens with a small greenhouse.  At the dedication ceremony, then Parks Commissioner Henry Stern announced the name Palmetto Playground.  Palmetto, he explained, is the official tree of a “State” that borders on the “Atlantic” whose capital is “Columbia” - thus, the names of the three bordering streets.  Adam Yauch, an artist, filmmaker, activist, and one of Brooklyn’s most influential musicians (most famous as ‘MCA’ of the legendary Beastie Boys) grew up playing in this playground. The park was the setting for some of Yauch and his family's fondest memories, including his father Noel teaching him to ride a bike. A year after his premature death, Yauch's parents renamed Palmetto Playground as Adam Yauch Park on May 3rd, 2013. Later, the community garden came to be known separately as Mickel's Garden, after the neighbor and late gardener Mitchell “Mickel” Minawar who died unexpectedly in 2007. Today, it is known as Willowtown Community Garden.

Seen in the Garden: Clematis, Henryi (white)

Seen in the Garden: Clematis, Henryi (white)