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“The community garden has truly been a community effort with individuals, local businesses and organizations coming together to create a beautiful space that nourishes the souls of those who work in it while providing nourishment to the bodies of those who eat the food.”


-Former Cortez Mayor Karen Sheek 

We are an all-volunteer group that came together in 2017 to revitalize a small garden outside the Cortez Recreation Center. The garden was originally a site for the Montezuma School to Farm Project to provide activities for children attending programs at the Rec Center. Over 20 volunteers from as far as Pagosa Springs and Farmington helped with the initial cleanup of the 7 raised beds, forming the beginning of the Common Ground efforts to grow community gardens in Cortez.

The original garden now comprises our demonstration garden, which is a showcase for intensive gardening ideas and season extension. A small group of volunteers tend to the plots, host workshops for the community, provide plant starts for gardeners, and donate 100% of the produce to the Good Samaritan Center Food Pantry.

The site was expanded in 2018 to include 18 community garden plots of various sizes available for residents of Montezuma County to rent for the season. Gardeners tend to the common areas, lead workshops and often share their harvests with the food pantry. They gather several times each season to discuss budget, purchases, watering, fundraising, and issues related to management of the garden.

In 2021, a growing waiting list for plots at the Rec Center prompted garden co-coordinators Read Brugger and Kirbi Foster to engage with the Parks and Recreation Department about a possible 2nd garden site on the southside of Cortez. After considering two possible locations, both in neighborhood pocket parks, the city and garden coordinators agreed that 3rd and Harrison was the most desirable option. Volunteers canvassed the neighborhood and along with city representatives, held two neighborhood meetings.

After many conversations with neighbors, garden coordinators and the City of Cortez, the 3rd Street Garden was approved! Parks and Rec employees and garden volunteers worked together to build 11 plots, which are available to residents in the surrounding neighborhood. By Spring 2022, the site had a deer fence up and was ready for gardeners to start planting!

Garden Newsletter

Reserve your plot

Get involved

Help us grow


Our group operates as a project of Good Samaritan Center Food Pantry in partnership with City of Cortez Parks and Recreation Department





FUN IN 2023

Growing at 3rd Street  •  Seed & Plant Share  •  Workshops
Potlucks  •  
Garden Tours

First year cleaning up the future demonstration garden at the Rec Center
Meeting of gardeners at the Cortez Community Garden
Potluck at the Cortez Community Garden Rec Center




Cortez Community Garden volunteers




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The community gardens are funded entirely by donations.

We are extremely grateful to the following donors for their support.

Empire Electric Association, Inc.


Mesa Verde


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Jeanne Becker • Kendra Brewer • Read and Heidi Brugger • Jeanne Cain • George Cheney and Sally Planalp • Aaron Davis • Sam and Lola Eckhart

Paul Ermigiotti • Donna Fitzpatrick • Ellen Foster • Kirbi Foster • Golden Dreams Family Trust • Ben Goodrich • Betsy Harrison • Ben Hawes

Sonja Horoshko • Eric Ikenouye • Lily Jamison-Cash and Annie Seder • Graham and Cookie Johnson • Austan Koller • BettyAnn Kolner • Patricia Lacey Mike Lavey • Candice Leighton • Eleanor MacFarlane • Joe MacLaren • Kevin McGarigal • Marianne Mate • Chuck and MB McAfee • Jorie McCann

Rachel Medina Karen Mischke • Will Morris • Cindy O’Brien • Jennifer Peeso • Peter and Femme Rosenbaum • Bob Shaw Mathew & Debra Sheldon

MJ Smith • Joyce Stevenson • Mark Varien • Betty Williams • Terry Woodrow • M'Leah Woodward • Debra Worden • Diane Wren • Mac Wyman, MD
In-Kind Donations

Champion Signs & Banners    •    City of Cortez    •    Cliffrose Garden Center
Colorado Hydroponics    •    Four Seasons Greenhouse and Nursery    •    Four Corners Materials  
Orchard Mountain Farms    •    Slavens TrueValue    •    Sprinkler Pros    •    Trees of Trail Canyon

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