“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.”


-Cortez Mayor Karen Sheek 

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a plot!

Get involved with the Garden

We are a volunteer group that came together in Summer 2017 to revitalize a small garden at the Cortez Recreation Center and open it up to the community. The garden was originally a Montezuma School to Farm Project garden for programs at the Rec Center. Our group operates as a project of the Good Samaritan Center Food Pantry in partnership with the City of Cortez


In 2018, we created a small community garden adjacent to the original garden that has a total of 19 family, individual and handicap accessible plots available for residents of Montezuma County. The original garden consists of 3 demonstration beds that are a showcase for intensive gardening ideas while providing fresh produce for the food pantry. A new children's garden is comprised of 3 additional plots from the original garden along with a sandbox, a "dig area" and growing spaces along the border.


The entire project is a beautiful space for many activities from potluck meals to outdoor meetings to art workshops. We hope people will enjoy eating their lunch in the garden during the workday, relaxing in the shade with a good book, or taking the opportunity to explore the flowers, vegetables, and insects flourishing in the garden.


We are working to bring community gardens to Cortez and intend for the Rec Center Garden to be a catalyst for more gardens in other parts of the city. We are proud to be part of the wider movement in the Four Corners region creating a local sustainable food economy.


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


A membership at the Rec Center is not required to visit or participate in the garden. In 2021, we plan to have after-school and summer activities in the Children's Garden program, potlucks for gardeners and volunteers, workshops for the community and will continue donations of fresh produce to the food pantry from the demonstration garden.

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Vision and Goals



We envision a diverse and vibrant network of community gardens in Cortez that inspires people to be self-reliant and to build resilient communities.

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To create space where people can grow healthy food.

To create a shared sense of place by connecting with and embracing the cultures of community members. 


To provide gardening, cooking and nutrition classes. 


To share healthy food with the Good Samaritan Food Pantry.


To build a sense of community and neighborhood vitality. 


To work with local partners to promote healthy eating and

to develop a sustainable, local food system. 

Together we can create vibrant community gardens in Cortez, supporting the health, security, and connectedness of our friends and neighbors.

The community garden is funded entirely by donations.

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

Thank You!


Empire Electric Association, Inc.

Mesa Verde


Read and Heidi Brugger • Ellen Foster • Kirbi Foster • Mary (MB) McAfee • Kevin McGarigal • Peter and Femme Rosenbaum • Diane Wren

Mac Wyman, MD • Jeanne Cain • Aaron Davis • Paul Ermigiotti • Donna Fitzpatrick • Betsy Harrison • Ben Hawes • Sonja Horoshko
Eric Ikenouye • BettyAnn Kolner • Patricia Lacey • Candice Leighton • Eleanor MacFarlane • Joe MacLaren • Marianne Mate • Jorie McCann 

Karen Mischke • Will Morris • Cynthia O’Brien • Jennifer Peeso • Bob Shaw • Madia Smith • Mark Varien • Betty Williams

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