Kansas City Community Gardens
6917 Kensington
Kansas City MO 64132
The KCCG-managed Eastwood Hills Community Gardens, located on the site of a former city jail, serves nearly 50 families each year.
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 931-3877
Mission Statement
The mission of Kansas City Community Gardens is to assist low-income households and community groups in the Kansas City metropolitan area to produce vegetables and fruit from garden plots located in backyards, vacant lots and at community sites.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Ben Sharda
Board Chair Mr. Gordon Braun
Board Chair Company Affiliation Protiviti, Inc.
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1985
Former Names
Community Garden Project
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement The mission of Kansas City Community Gardens is to assist low-income households and community groups in the Kansas City metropolitan area to produce vegetables and fruit from garden plots located in backyards, vacant lots and at community sites.
Background Statement

 KCCG began in 1979 as the Metropolitan Lutheran Ministry’s “Community Garden Project,” an initiative started to help low-income families save money on grocery bills. In 1985, the organization became incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For over thirty years, KCCG staff have assisted community and backyard gardeners throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area to improve nutrition, reduce food costs, combat obesity, increase physical activity, encourage neighborhood leadership, and promote locally grown and sustainable food. Support from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and other devoted supporters, as well as partnerships with area school districts, were essential in developing the Schoolyard Gardens and Community Partner Gardens.

The Beanstalk Children's Garden's first incarnation was in 1997 at KCCG's former home, Kansas City's Municipal Stadium at 22nd and Brooklyn. When KCCG moved to Swope Park in 2003, staff and volunteers established the current Beanstalk Children's Garden. Today, the Leanna Flandermeyer Beanstalk Garden is host to thousands of visitors each season, serving as the setting annually in September for two major KCCG events, the free Fall Family Festival and our signature fundraiser, The Gardens at Sunset.

In 2013, The Giving Grove, www.givinggrove.org, became KCCG's latest program. After years of volunteering to provide emergency food assistance, The Giving Grove's founders conducted a year-long visioning process to develop this sustainable orchard education initiative. They approached the KCCG Board of Directors, who voted to establish The Giving Grove as a KCCG program.
In 2017, KCCG continues to expand our organizational footprint in response to unprecedented interest in growing fresh food, with a newly renovated office located at 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, Missouri and satellite services and educational workshops throughout the metro area.
Impact Statement
KCCG's top accomplishments in FY 2017 (10/1/16-9/30/17)
  • Empowering over 26,000 Kansas City households with the knowledge and resources to affordably grow fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Supporting 285 community and youth garden groups, or Community Partner Gardens, in their efforts to grow healthy food to share with their neighborhoods, donate to food pantries, and use in nonprofit meal programs.
  • Providing communities with over $100,000 in micro-grants to establish food gardens and orchards, in partnership with the City of Kansas City, Missouri and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City
  • Educating and supporting more than 12,700 students growing food in 216 area Schoolyard Gardens
  • Providing nutrition education to more than 4,000 visitors to the Leanna Flandermeyer Beanstalk Children's Garden.
  • Increasing our total number of Giving Grove orchards to 135. Once mature, these orchards have the potential to produce approximately 543,718 pounds of fresh food every year, for an estimated lifetime yield of 13.3 million pounds of food.
Our goals for FY 2018 (10/1/17- 9/30/18) include:
  • Completing the KCCG Capital Campaign and finishing the renovations on our current headquarters building to include brand new office space for our growing staff. In Fiscal Year 2017, we successfully completed construction of a new garage building and large multi-purpose room
  • Enrolling an additional 10 Community Partner Gardens; 8 Youth Community Partner Gardens; 10 Schoolyard Gardens; and establishing 20-35 new Giving Grove community orchards, while providing continued support to our existing gardens and orchards.
  • Continuing to enrich the STEM-based curriculum provided to children who visit the Leanna Flandermeyer Beanstalk Children's Garden, including a week-long gardening camp for a low-income school's Girl Scout group
  • Working with a new national Giving Grove organization and urban agriculture partners in St. Louis, Omaha, and other cities to support national replication of the Giving Grove program. 
Needs Statement
Without support and participation from the community, KCCG would not be able to provide our members with resources needed to increase access to healthy food in Kansas City by teaching people to grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables.
In the coming year, KCCG's greatest needs will include:
  • KCCG's Adopt a Garden program provides essential donor support for our general operating expenses, including core personnel, administrative, and program costs. By sponsoring a garden, Adopt a Garden supporters help Kansas City's families and community groups become more self-sufficient by growing part of their own food supply.
  • Program support for the Self-Help Gardening/Community Partner Gardens programs to help community groups grow healthy food.
  • Private support of KCCG's Schoolyard Gardens program to help educate a future generation of gardeners.
  • Donor support of KCCG's Leanna Flandermeyer Beanstalk Children's Garden, located at 6917 Kensington in Swope Park.
  • Private support of KCCG's free garden skills workshops program helps to ensure that KCCG members and non-members alike have access to the knowledge and skills they need to produce healthy food.
  • Support for KCCG's Giving Grove neighborhood orchard program to help create greater food security in Kansas City's communities. 
Service Categories
Youth Development-Agricultural
Human Services
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
MO - Cass County
MO - Ray County
MO - Lafayette
MO - Caldwell
KS - Leavenworth County
KS - Franklin County
KCCG serves the metropolitan Kansas City area with a focus on Kansas City's food deserts and food-insecure neighborhoods. For example, The Giving Grove has established orchards in Jackson, Clay, and Platte Counties in Missouri and Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in Kansas. In addition to these counties, KCCG's backyard and community gardeners are also growing fresh fruits and vegetables in Cass, Ray, Lafayette, and Caldwell Counties in Missouri and Leavenworth and Franklin Counties in Kansas.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

My name is Gordon Braun and I am President of the Board of Directors of Kansas City Community Gardens (KCCG).  Although KCCG has been around for more than 30 years, I first volunteered in 2011 and worked closely with one of KCCG’s programs, The Giving Grove, to help organize over 75 volunteers to implement the program’s first project at the Hale Cook School in 2012.  Since being privileged to join the board in 2015, I have been continually impressed by and constantly reminded of the important work that KCCG does for our Kansas City community.  Our programs assist low-income households by supporting hundreds of backyard, community, and schoolyard gardens and groves so that fresh and healthy food is available to people that otherwise might not have access.  The thousands of pounds of food that benefit so many in our community as a result of KCCG’s programs is only part of the impact.  I have heard the stories from many community leaders that have described the tangible difference that a community garden in a neighborhood can have.  I have seen the pride that garden and grove stewards have shown in maintaining a plot of land from which their neighbors will benefit.  I have seen children visibly shocked and amazed to learn where healthy food comes from and actually feel empowered when they learn that they can grow it in their own backyards or neighborhoods. 

I can imagine perhaps Kansas City’s greatest figure, farm-born Ewing Marion Kauffman, being so very proud of KCCG’s work that teaching people how to independently grow their own food.  Indeed, KCCG’s mission echoes well with his Foundation’s mission. 

We still have a staggering number of food insecure people in our Kansas City area - - shouldn’t we be looking for more ways to bring people together, teach another generation about where healthy food comes from, and help grow hundreds of thousands of pounds of healthy food to benefit those that need it most all across Kansas City?  This is what KCCG does every day.  I invite you to stop by the KCCG office near Swope Park and become a member, tour the Beanstalk Children’s Garden while you are there, and please support us with your financial means to continue to grow the impact all across our Kansas City Community. 

Through the Self-Help Gardening program, KCCG provides technical assistance and gardening resources to low-income families and individuals throughout the metropolitan Kansas City area. KCCG membership benefits include low-cost seeds, plants, and fertilizer; low-cost tilling; help with raised bed construction, site selection, and garden planning; telephone and in-person technical assistance from trained horticulturists and experienced gardeners on staff at KCCG. Reduced-cost memberships are available to low-income households with proof of income for an annual fee of $2. KCCG also makes garden space available for rent at its large-scale community gardens, including the Swope Park, Eastwood Hills, Prospect, Kauffman, Northrup Park, Ivanhoe-Richardon, Research Medical Center, and Freeway Park Community Gardens. KCCG offer a free educational gardening workshop program that is unparalleled in the Kansas City area, focusing on topics such as Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes and Vegetable Garden Basics.
Program Budget $393,587.00
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other
Population Served At-Risk Populations, Other Economic Level, Families
Short-Term Success Free education, low cost resources, and other support from KCCG staff through the Self-Help Gardening program are expected to lead to more successful harvests, increasing access to healthy food and improving nutrition for participating gardeners each season.
Long-Term Success

Research demonstrates that urban community gardeners tend to consume more fresh produce, and that they are more than three times as likely to consume the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables (Source: Alaimo, Katherine et al., "Fruit and Vegetable Intake Among Urban Community Gardeners," Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume 40, Issue 2, March-April 2008, Pages 94-101, http://www.jneb.org/article/S1499-4046(06)00854-2/abstract." KCCG's own annual surveys provide supporting evidence for this relationship, with more than 95% of low-income gardeners reporting that they successfully harvest produce with KCCG support each year, eat more fruits and vegetables, and stay more active because of gardening.

In addition to enhancing health and nutrition, community and home gardening can help to transform Kansas City's food system by creating an environment that encourages healthy behavior.
Program Success Monitored By Post-garden season interviews are conducted with program participants. Agency staff make site visits to gardens.
Examples of Program Success
During KCCG's fiscal year ending 9/30/17, over 1,200 qualified low-income families, along with an additional 1,100 non low-income families, received supplies and support from KCCG through the Self-Help Gardening program. KCCG's annual gardener survey results demonstrated the health impact of community and home gardening, with the vast majority of returning gardeners (96%) agreeing that they successfully harvested produce from their gardens with KCCG support. In addition, 96% responded that they ate more daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables due to gardening. 90% responded that they increased physical activity levels because of their garden duties.

The Leanna Flandermeyer Beanstalk Children's Garden is a unique urban garden providing garden-based nutrition education for children, families, youth groups, and other visitors. Throughout the garden season, children and families are able to taste cherry tomatoes, green and red peppers, okra, raspberries, and many other freshly picked fruits and vegetables, while seeing and touching others still on the vine or plant. In addition, the Beanstalk garden helps to promote environmental awareness and knowledge of local food systems among urban youth, who may have limited opportunities to experience nature and gardening.

The Beanstalk is comprised of several theme gardens including a vegetable garden, fruit garden, herb garden, grain & seed garden, water garden and a curiosity garden with unusual and interesting plants from around the world.
Program Budget $57,314.00
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Nutrition
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Families,
Short-Term Success
Children will:
  1. Gain awareness of how food crops are grown.
  2. Gain awareness of the importance of vegetables and fruits in their diets.
  3. Express an interest in participating in food gardening.
Long-Term Success
The Beanstalk Children's Garden educates children and teenagers about nutrition, local food production, science, ecology by encouraging visitors to use their senses to explore this unique garden environment. 
Program Success Monitored By KCCG tracks the number of youth and adult visitors to the garden each season.
Examples of Program Success
With nearly 4,000 visitors in 2017, the Leanna Flandermeyer Beanstalk Children's Garden was a very active place this past Summer! The Beanstalk staff had the opportunity to give several customized tours this year, integrating seamlessly with Grandview High School's Nutrition class. By design, Grandview scheduled two tours: one for the Spring, and one for the Fall, so that the students could see the growth of the plants. These students also took a tour of the greenhouse and seed room, tried their hand at harvesting lettuce, and taste-tested fresh foods from the garden.
For the second year in a row, the Beanstalk hosted a week-long summer camp for 50 students in grades K-8. Each age group followed a curriculum customized for the Beanstalk garden highlighting various nature features and a guide to eating healthy from garden produce. Camp surveys found that 75% eat vegetables every day at home, with only 28% eating them with every meal. During camp, 100% of the campers reported that they had tried a new food growing in the garden! 90% reported that they learned more about healthy eating. 
The purpose of the Schoolyard Gardens program is to promote food gardening in schools to help children learn about nutrition and develop healthy eating habits. School gardening is a proven way to get kids eating more fruits and vegetables. More than 12,700 students at 216 schools are enrolled as Schoolyard Gardens and participating in school gardening with support and supplies from KCCG staff.
Schoolyard Gardens staff provide garden skills education, help with garden planning and development, site evaluation and selection, and garden construction supplies and direct assistance.  Once gardens are established, schools have ongoing access to garden tools on loan, seeds, plants, and other resources. Students and garden coordinators can improve their harvests through garden education and reach their goals for integrating school gardening into the classroom by working with Schoolyard Gardens staff. School gardening is an essential part of Kansas City's farm-to-school efforts.
Program Budget $74,830.00
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Nutrition
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), ,
Short-Term Success Participating schools achieve more successful garden harvests with KCCG support. Students learn about the role that fresh fruits and vegetables play as part of a healthy diet, and taste new fruits and vegetables grown in the garden.
Long-Term Success Kansas City's students participate in food gardening, learn about the process of growing healthy food, and learn lifelong healthy eating habits by adding more fruits and vegetables to their diets.
Program Success Monitored By Staff make site visits to evaluate school gardens. Students and teachers respond to annual surveys reporting what students learned from gardening and the number of students trying new fruits and vegetables.
Examples of Program Success
During the 2016-2017 school year, Schoolyard Gardens staff provided pre- and post-gardening surveys to participating students to measure improvements in their health and in their knowledge of nutrition. Students reported that they generally ate more servings of fruits and vegetables after gardening at school. The 93% of teachers responded that all of their students had tasted something from the garden, and all of the teachers reported that at least some of their students tasted fruits and vegetables from the garden. 71% of students surveyed recognize that gardening helps them to stay physically fit. Students also improved their nutrition knowledge by gardening at school. 100% of teachers surveyed agreed that their students' knowledge about the importance of fresh vegetables and fruit increased.
Parker Elementary in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools built four raised bed gardens in May of 2016. Spearheaded by the school's nurse, students in 3rd and 4th Grade helped build the beds and planted sweet potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes. Parker Elementary is forming a Garden Club, which will invite students in all grades to plant and care for the garden each season. The produce will be sent home with students to share with their families.
The Giving Grove, www.givinggrove.org, advances KCCG's mission by integrating micro-orchards into communities in order to increase access to healthy fruits, berries, and nuts. In 2014, The Giving Grove was honored by the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) as a Sustainability Success Story. A program of Kansas City Community Gardens, our mission is to improve local food security and strengthen communities by bringing together the resources to develop community orchards. During the past four years, The Giving Grove has worked with schools, nonprofits, parks departments, senior living facilities, and other partners to establish 135 community orchards in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Our staff assist partners with site planning, education, and other technical assistance needed to train volunteer orchard stewards to successfully establish and care for their own community orchards. The Giving Grove provides disease-resistant fruit tree varieties that grow well in our region. 
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Sustainable Agriculture
Population Served At-Risk Populations, ,
Short-Term Success Giving Grove orchards are helping to foster healthier, more sustainable communities and increasing access to healthy food as people come together to grow fresh fruit, nuts, and berries. These orchards are already transforming areas previously used for illegal dumping of trash to beautiful, park-like green spaces.
Long-Term Success Providing healthy food for those who are food insecure and providing nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy choices for families and for donation to food programs. The Giving Grove estimates potential production of our orchards based on local research performed by University of Missouri Research and Extension.
Program Success Monitored By
Outcomes include the following:
  1. Communities participate in growing healthy food (as measured by the number of orchards established, number of participants). 
  2. Communities learn to care for their orchards (as measured by number of orchard steward volunteers participating in educational workshops and through steward post-season surveys). 
  3. Communities successfully and safely harvest and distribute healthy food (as measured by pounds of food harvested and orchard steward post-season surveys).
  4. Communities develop a more sustainable, resilient food production system (as measured by orchard site visits, steward interviews on how orchards are using their produce, i.e., food pantry/kitchen, neighborhood distribution, donation, etc.)
Examples of Program Success

Giving Grove communities successfully and safely harvested healthy food, as evidenced by the 48 orchards planted in 2013 and 2014 that are now producing fruit, with harvesting support from our Giving Grove Community Engagement Coordinator. The majority of Giving Grove sites are located directly in food-insecure neighborhoods, with a total of 46,488 households benefiting from the free, fresh fruit now available to them. 24% of households in our neighborhood locations fall beneath the poverty level. Our largest site, the Metropolitan Lutheran Ministries Giving Grove Orchard includes 99 trees with an estimated annual harvest (when trees all reach maturity) of 28,500 pounds of food. That’s over 385,000 pounds of fresh fruits, berries, and nuts over the lifetime of the orchard!

Description KCCG's Community Partner Gardens program educates and empowers Kansas City's food insecure communities to grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables. KCCG provides low-cost gardening supplies that help make gardening affordable for everyone, while providing the education and technical support that community garden groups need in order to achieve successful harvests. During the past year, KCCG staff providing planting planning assistance, water access and rainwater harvesting support, garden and water access mini-grants, seeds, plants, and other resources to 285 Community Partner Gardens working throughout our city to grow healthy food. With KCCG support, hospitals, homeless and domestic violence shelters, neighborhoods, congregations, and other groups are able to grow and donate healthy food.
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Hunger Action
Population Served At-Risk Populations, ,
Short-Term Success Free education, low-cost resources, and other support from KCCG staff through the Community Partner Gardens program lead to more successful harvests, improving nutrition for participating gardeners each growing season. Community gardening is improving access to healthy food, bringing neighborhoods together, turning unused and blighted spaces into productive food gardens, and creating a healthier environment for Kansas City.
Long-Term Success Community Partner Gardens are growing food to share with their neighbors, donate to food pantries, or to serve in nonprofit meal programs, resulting in thousands of pounds of fresh food for Kansas City's food insecure communities each years. In addition to improving access to healthy food, KCCG's support for community gardening is resulting in positive, long-term environmental change to create a more sustainable food system in Kansas City.
Program Success Monitored By KCCG conducts an annual survey of all participating garden coordinators each growing season to measure the impact for gardeners health, as well as gather information about how produce is used.
Examples of Program Success
Just two of the 285 garden projects enrolled as KCCG Community Partner Gardens this year include:
  1. The Beautiful Things WyCo garden at Victory Hills Church of the Nazarene in Kansas City, Kansas. Crystal Mellick, a nurse at Children’s Mercy Hospital and the garden’s coordinator, attended several of KCCG’s free, community workshops and then helped create the partnership that resulted in the new project. Crystal has lived in the neighborhood her whole life and wanted to bring more fresh food into the Church’s food pantry. She is now working to engage the senior citizens who live in the neighborhood to be involved in the garden.
  2. The Project Rally Garden provides the community with fresh produce and a platform to teach and empower others to grow their own food. At the initial spring planting day, the atmosphere felt more like a block party, with food being shared while community members moved soil, planted the garden, and constructed a fence to keep wildlife from sharing in the harvest.
CEO Comments KCCG's Self-Help Gardening and Community Partner Gardens programs provide education, technical assistance, garden supplies, and other support for low-income families and community garden groups. KCCG's free and low-cost gardening resources allow people to grow some of their own food supply, resulting in economic and nutritional benefits along with a wide array of other health and environmental benefits. Our other programs, the Beanstalk Children’s Garden, Schoolyard Gardens, and The Giving Grove, form an amazing synergy with the Self-Help Gardening and Community Partner Gardens programs, as our staff work side-by-side with community volunteers to improve food security in Kansas City and educate gardeners for the future.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Ben Sharda
Term Start Jan 1989
Email Ben@kccg.org

Kansas City Community Gardens Executive Director Ben Sharda has led KCCG’s community, family, and children’s gardening initiatives as director since 1989. Mr. Sharda celebrated 32 years with KCCG in 2017, and is widely recognized as a leading Kansas City authority on community gardening by government and community-based partners city-wide. He has devoted three decades to sharing his expertise with the community through gardener education, garden development and leadership, and public presentations on gardening and healthy food access issues. Mr. Sharda holds a Bachelor of Horticulture degree from the University of Missouri. 

Under Ben’s leadership, KCCG’s membership has grown to include more than 1,200 low-income families, 210 Schoolyard Gardens, 280 Community Partner Gardens, and 135 Giving Grove micro-orchard projects working together to grow fresh fruits and vegetables in Kansas City.
Ben has collaborated with city and community leaders and led KCCG staff to establish the Swope Park, Eastwood Hills, Freeway Park, Research Medical Center, and Ivanhoe-Richardson Community Gardens, the 5008 Prospect Community Garden and Orchard and Kauffman Community Garden and Orchard in Kansas City, MO, and the Northrup Park Community Garden in Kansas City, Kansas. 

These accomplishments would not have been possible without Ben’s long tenure as KCCG’s dedicated leader, educating hundreds of thousands of gardeners over the years in free garden skills workshops; helping to establish and grow the Leanna Flandermeyer Beanstalk Children’s Garden, visited by thousands of children and families each year; and sharing his love of gardening with the community in countless other ways.
He has spoken at community forums including the first ever Kansas City Regional Schoolyard Garden Summit and City of Kansas City, Missouri’s Urban Agriculture Summit in 2015. Ben continues to bring together diverse communities of gardeners and volunteers to contribute to conservation, health, and community revitalization through gardening in the Kansas City area.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
Gary Gilbert Jan 1984 - Dec 1987
Bert Monroe Jan 1982 - Dec 1984
Senior Staff
Title Office Manager
Experience/Biography Earlene Franks contributes to KCCG's members her extensive experience with community gardens administration, along with her previous experience with housing authority administration and city government
Title Development Director
Title The Giving Grove Executive Director
Title Children's Gardening Coordinator
Title Garden Manager
Title Development Director, The Giving Grove
Paid Full-Time Staff 14
Paid Part-Time Staff 9
Volunteers 300
Paid Contractors 2
Retention Rate 88%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 19
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 14
Male 9
Not Specified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Under Development
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
KCCG partners with a wide variety of community organizations, schools, and government agencies throughout Kansas City, including the City of Kansas City, MO, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, area school districts, and the University of Missouri Extension's Master Gardeners program. Hundreds of nonprofits, hospitals, neighborhood groups, congregations, and schools partner with KCCG as Community Partner Gardens, Giving Grove orchards, and Schoolyard Gardens. KCCG provides garden construction support and supplies, seeds, plants, fruit trees and orchard supplies, and other resources to these organizations, who collectively donate hundreds of pounds of produce to local food pantries for hunger relief. Others share fresh fruits and vegetables from their garden and orchard projects with participating families in the neighborhood, improving community food security.

KCCG manages community garden space across the metropolitan area, including the Eastwood Hills, Swope Park, and Freeway Gardens in partnership with the Kansas City, Missouri Department of Parks and Recreation; Northrup Park Community Garden in partnership with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County; the Ivanhoe-Richardson Community Garden in partnership with Kansas City, Missouri, School District; the Kauffman Community Garden and Orchard in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; and the Prospect Community Garden and Orchard in partnership with Blue Hills Community Services.

Chamber of Commerce2016
Nonprofit Connect of Greater Kansas City2016
The Giving Grove- a Sustainability Success StoryMid-America Regional Council (MARC)2014
The GIving Grove- Thrive Award for Innovative Community Development ProgramGreater Kansas City LISC2017
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments
 KCCG’s work focuses on providing gardening resources, including education, supplies, and technical assistance, to help make gardening affordable for everyone. Throughout our city, neighborhood and community groups are working together with KCCG staff to create a more sustainable food system and improve food security in our communities through gardening.  In recent years, as noted by the Kansas City Star on 9/14/13 (Lynn Horsley, "Kansas City harvests a bumper crop of gardens"), our city is experiencing incredible growth in the number of community and school gardens, with many of these gardens benefiting from education, supplies, and other support from our knowledgeable staff.
As recommended by the Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition, the Sustainable Cities Institute, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, community gardens and orchards will continue to provide creative solutions to a host of environmental and public health problems for cities such as Kansas City in the coming years. The benefits of urban agriculture range from improved food access and reduced crime and vandalism to better quality of life for seniors, disabled individuals, and others who garden for exercise, socialization, and recreation. The City of Kansas City, MO, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, and other essential partners are recognizing how essential community gardens and orchards are to reduce hunger, improve nutrition, and create more livable neighborhoods in Kansas City.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Gordon Braun
Company Affiliation Protiviti, Inc.
Term Oct 2016 to Sept 2018
Email gordon.braun@protiviti.com
Board Members
Ms. Claire Boeshaar Helzberg Diamonds
Mr. James L. Bogle Just in Time Consulting, LLC
Mr. Adam W. Bormann Government Employees Health Association
Mr. Gordon Braun Protiviti, Inc.
Ms. Susan Dillard Project Assist KC
Mr. Tim Hall Hostess Brands
Mr. Sammy Howell Community Volunteer
Mr. Brent Kroh Elmwood Reclaimed Timber
Mr. Larry Lehman Retired
Ms. Jana D. Merfen Dickinson Financial Corp
Ms. Grace Scott-Golden
Mr. Joseph P. Sweeny Country Club Trust Company
Mr. Neil J. Watkins Epiq Systems, Inc.
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 9
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Program / Program Planning
Project Oversight
Advisory Board Members
Ms. Phoebe Bunting Community Volunteer
Ms. Jill Bunting Community Volunteer
Ms. Dody Gates Everist Community Volunteer
Ms. Lorelei Gibson Community Volunteer
Mr. Andrew Kaplan Commerce Bank
Mr. George Kroh
Ms. Alison Ward Westport Garden Club
CEO Comments

 As the only nonprofit organization in Kansas City dedicated wholly to community, home, and children's gardening, KCCG has supported growers in their efforts to become more self-sufficient for more than thirty years. KCCG continues to experience unprecedented growth in recent years, as Kansas City families and communities turn to urban agriculture for health, enjoyment, hunger prevention, and to become part of a sustainable local food system. KCCG’s programming empowers community and backyard growers throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area to improve nutrition, reduce food costs, prevent obesity and other health risks, increase physical activity, encourage neighborhood leadership, and promote sustainable food production. For example, KCCG’s free educational garden skills workshop program is unparalleled in the Kansas City area, with up to 50 workshops provided to the community each year at no cost. KCCG provides more than 135,000 square feet of community garden space throughout the metropolitan area, a unique resource that no other organization in Kansas City offers. KCCG provides free and affordable gardening resources to Kansas City’s urban gardeners and Giving Grove orchard stewards, including low-income households, community groups, and schools. In addition, KCCG partners with the Independence Health Department and other partners to offer "satellite" services in Independence and Kansas City, KS, including free workshops, membership sign-up, and seed and plant orders.

Fiscal Year Start Oct 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Sept 30, 2018
Projected Revenue $1,276,792
Projected Expenses $1,254,623
Form 990s
Audit Documents
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 9/30/2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.  
  • Foundations/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$144,840$196,036$137,841
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$132($45)$11
Membership Dues$15,584$14,096$13,558
Special Events$34,114$25,105$23,921
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$951,072$827,748$750,419
Administration Expense$76,124$79,289$67,998
Fundraising Expense$94,043$70,576$61,794
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.031.530.85
Program Expense/Total Expenses85%85%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue9%5%10%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,079,737$1,030,165$509,501
Current Assets$691,889$654,025$163,113
Long-Term Liabilities$2,210$2,226$0
Current Liabilities$42,063$27,037$26,755
Total Net Assets$1,035,464$1,000,902$482,746
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities16.4524.196.10
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $145,271Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City $468,400Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City $158,565
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $116,621Individual Donor $206,295City of Kansas City, MO $78,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $89,000City of Kansas City, MO $154,188Individual Donor $50,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years Yes
Organization Comments
Whether building a raised garden bed or strengthening KCCG's programming through their financial and volunteer contributions, our dedicated supporters are helping to empower communities metro-wide to grow and share healthy food. As we transition from a small, grassroots organization to a larger nonprofit to meet the needs of the gardeners we serve, enhancing community support and awareness for KCCG's successful nutrition programming continues to be a high priority. We continue to work to improve the level of service to the community by adding more resources and educational opportunities, while staying engaged with neighborhoods to stay responsive to their needs and concerns. We hope to connect even more growers with the culturally relevant education, supplies, and other resources they need to successfully harvest fresh fruits and vegetables in the coming years. To reach this goal, KCCG's leadership is committed to building our donor base and to careful donor stewardship to help ensure the long-term financial health of our growing organization for years to come.
Organization Name Kansas City Community Gardens
Address 6917 Kensington
Kansas City, MO 64132
Primary Phone (816) 931-3877
Contact Email Ben@kccg.org
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Ben Sharda
Board Chair Mr. Gordon Braun
Board Chair Company Affiliation Protiviti, Inc.
Year of Incorporation 1985
Former Names
Community Garden Project