Our group, Common Ground Cortez Community Gardens, was founded in Cortez, CO in 2017. We came together around the issues of food security and sustainable local food systems, with the goal of building a community garden that would serve community members and clients of The Good Samaritan Food Pantry. 

The community garden at the Rec Center was built entirely with volunteer work, and continues to be maintained by an all-volunteer crew. 

Read Brugger and Kirbi Vaughn, the original coordinators of the garden, continue to help organize and manage the garden, gardeners, and volunteers. Read is active in fundraising, donor support, construction, and the demonstration garden. Kirbi is active in expanding the children's garden and its programs, outreach and communications, composting, and whatever else needs to be done.

Volunteers help the garden in many different ways:

Weeding, watering, fundraising, events, leading workshops, improving infrastructure, cleaning tools, and so much more!

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Follow us on Instagram for all the photos of Children's Garden Days, workdays, potlucks, and tons of other posts all about the garden!

Visit the garden! 

Cortez Recreation Center

425 Roger Smith, Ave. Cortez

Plots available for 2020!


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.

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.



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.

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P.O. Box 662, Cortez, Colorado 81321

Common Ground Cortez Community Gardens is a project of the Good Samaritan Center Food Pantry in partnership with the City of Cortez Parks & Recreation Department

© 2020 Common Ground Cortez