The New Garden Society

At A Glance


Erika Rumbley


Boston, Massachusetts

Primary Issue Area:

  • Food
  • Living Economies

Active since:


Tax Status:


Core volunteers:


Community Size:


Our Purpose

Established in 2013, The New Garden Society (TNGS) responded to local incarcerated adults’ voiced need for horticulture education in Massachusetts Department of Corrections' (MA DOC) facilities in Greater Boston. Since, TNGS listened to the needs of incarcerated individuals and the local green industry to evolve its mission. TNGS now works inside and outside prison walls to strengthen a bridge between incarcerated horticulturalists and the local green industry. TNGS currently offers our year-round Training for Incarcerated Horticulturists at three MA Department of Correction Facilities in Boston and Greater Boston, engaging incarcerated individuals in the productive and therapeutic work of growing food, while providing the skills and knowledge to pursue green industry careers in re-entry. To date, TNGS has designed, built and maintained over half an acre of therapeutic food gardens within state prisons and youth detention facilities.Outside of prison walls, TNGS supports an inclusive local green industry that welcomes formerly incarcerated individuals to the workforce. The Green Industry Ally Initiative builds a network of socially informed green industry professionals through round table discussions and information sharing. Together, our programs support the learning goals and  wellbeing of our incarcerated students during incarceration and after their release.