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Cleaning up Maloca Community Garden

Cleaning up Maloca Community Garden

Located on York University’s Keele campus, the Maloca Community Garden features about 2,000 square feet devoted to both individual and communal plots for growing vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers according to the principles of organic agriculture.

Two volunteers at Maloca Garden shoveling dirt into a wheelbarrow.
Two volunteers at Maloca CommunALL Earthwork Project, June 6 2023.

The garden supports individuals who lack access to land, are want to build skills and knowledge in gardening, strive to raise awareness of food security or simply want to develop community connections.

The Maloca Community Garden was founded by Angela Simone and Karen Okamoto in 1999. Alongside other Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change students, they paved the way for the Maloca Community Garden to provide York University and the surrounding North York community the unique opportunity to grow and harvest food in a welcoming, non-judgmental environment.

Did you know, that the garden’s name – Maloca – comes from the multi-family long houses built near the banks of the Amazon River? At the centre of each house is a communal, spiritual meeting place, and the garden’s name reflects our group’s desire to create a sense of community. The Maloca Community Garden offers plenty of opportunities to attend workshops, learn about gardening, volunteer, plant, harvest, build relationships, give back to the community and, of course, socialize!

EUC encourage professors to use the Maloca Community Garden to foster experiential learning opportunities and explore topics such as native plants and pollinators, urban agriculture, agricultural innovation, urban greenification, food sovereignty and climate change.

Phyllis Novak speaking to students at Maloca Community Garden.

Phyllis Novak, Director of Maloca Garden, welcomes all! Absolutely no gardening experience is necessary – just an enthusiasm for getting outdoors and promoting environmentally friendly practices. The garden can be found on the South West corner of York University's Keele Campus, beyond the baseball diamond on Pond Road and Passy Crescent.

If you have any questions please contact Phyllis at