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Community Gardens Frequently Asked Questions

What is the DPR Community Gardens Program?

DPR has over 30 community gardens, hosting over a 1000 gardeners, in every ward in the city.  Community gardens are shared garden spaces where each gardener gets their own garden plot in exchange for helping maintain the entire area.  There is at least one volunteer garden manager per garden, who manages the garden in accordance with the DPR Community Garden Agreement.

The Public Comment Period for the Community Garden Agreement is has been Extended!

DPR has been working with garden groups for several years getting feedback on the now updated cooperative agreement.  The goal of updating the agreement has been to standardize rules and expectations across all of DPR’s 35 community gardens. We have extended the deadline to comment on this agreement to January 6th, 2020.

Documents to Review:

The commenting period is now open and will remain so through January 6th, 2020. This information is also documented on the DC Register. 

To submit comments, click here.

What do garden managers do?

Garden manager responsibilities:

  • Assigns garden plots
  • Manages the plot wait list
  •  Ensures all necessary maintenance takes place
  •  Ensures all gardeners follow DC, DPR, and individual garden rules 
  • Serves as the point of contact for the garden with DPR
  • Organizes outreach efforts to the community, including an annual public meeting
  • Collects and manages plot dues for gardens that have plot dues
    (Not all DPR gardens have plot dues. Many DPR gardens just ask that you pay for what you need on your own instead of having a garden group fund.)

What are the rules for DPR Gardens?

There are two sets of rules all gardens must follow:

1.     Standard Rules

  • No harvesting or disturbing other people’s personal garden plots
  • No pets in the garden
  • No drugs or alcohol in the garden
  • No physical or verbal behavior that’s aggressive, intimidating, threatening, harassing or violent in any way
  • All fertilizers or sprays must be organic;
  • Each garden must designate at least one free garden plot for a low-income gardener, and one garden plot easily accessible for a gardener with disabilities
  • All gardeners are allowed only one plot per household
  • Each garden must make its own “Garden Operating Procedures” that maps out the governance structure, maintenance plan, and site specific rules for the garden.
  • All gardeners must adhere to the code of conduct

2.     Garden Operating Procedures (Site Specific)  

  • All Garden Operating Procedures must be approved by DPR before going into effect.
  • Click here for a guidance document designed to help garden managers/garden groups draft their own Garden Operating Procedures.

How do I secure access to a garden plot?

To get a garden plot in a DPR garden find your nearest garden on this map.

Click on any garden to get the contact information for the garden manager.  Send an email asking to be placed on the waiting list for the next available plot. 

If you don’t hear from them within a week please send a follow up email to the garden manager and include  the DPR Community Garden Specialist at [email protected][email protected], and [email protected]

What are the Requirements to be a DPR Gardener?

  • Be a DC resident
  • Get on the waiting list for the next possible garden plot
  • Sign the DPR Garden Waiver and the DPR Garden Code of Conduct
  • Follow DC, DPR, and Garden rules
  • Fulfill any volunteer requirements
  • If applicable, pay the annual garden plot dues, for the yearly needs of the garden