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DPR's Urban Garden division works with communities across the District to:
- establish outdoor gardens across the District;
- offer workshops, classes and programs that enhance, enrich and expose all participants who are interested in learning more about gardening, how to maintain their own gardens; and
- introduce new and innovative gardening ideas and best practices.
Annually, DPR offers over 100 free workshops focused on practical urban gardening skills during various time frames throughout the year. Many of our workshops are taught by the leaders of the District's urban agriculture movement.
Currently, 4 workshop series' are being offered:
- The Early Spring Urban Garden Certificate Course,
- The Late Spring Garden Carpentry Course,
- The Summer Urban Garden Series,
- and The Fall Master Urban Composter Course.
Please visit DPR's Urban Garden Workshop Series page for more information, class schedules, to register and more for each series.
The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) works with the community to establish gardens across the District. DPR currently has over 30 community gardens under its jurisdiction. Each community garden is managed by a volunteer group, made up of members of the respective community.
Please visit DPR's Community Gardens page for information on how to secure a plot, contact information and a list of community gardens throughout the District of Columbia.
DPR currently has several partner urban farms. A partner urban farm is an urban agriculture site that is located on DPR property but is managed and programed by a DPR partner. These partners are all 501c3 organizations that focus on offering gardening and nutrition programs while increasing access to healthy and affordable food to DC communities. These sites are designed to be more production style farms than community gardens with personal plots.
For more information, please visit DPR's Partner Urban Farms page.
The DPR Community Compost Cooperative Network uses new critter proof and smell proof compost bins designed by Urban Farm Plans to allow trained community members to compost food scraps with garden waste from DPR and partner DPR gardens to responsibly create high quality compost. To join each member must take an hour training and help process compost 1-hour a month. Each cooperative can handle around 100 active composters or about 1 ton of material a month. By the end of 2016 DPR will have 50 working bins with a capacity of 5000 people actively composting or 50 tons of material a month with no operating costs and no carbon footprint. Currently there are about 1000 people composting in this network.
For more information and/or to become actively involved, please visit DPR's Community Compost Cooperative Network page.
In 2015, the Urban Garden Division launching a garden tool share program for District gardeners to "check out" garden tools for use in their personal, at-home gardens. Residents must complete a permit application process that allows them to "check out" a wide variety of garden tools such as rototillers, power tools, broad forks, even an apple press and more. District residents are allowed to use the items for up to a week, and can check them out longer, if available.
For more information, a list of available tools and pick up/check out times, days and location, please visit DPR's Garden Tool Share Program page.
DPR is excited to announce a new beekeeping program in partnership with the DC Beekeepers Alliance (DCBA). In an effort to support urban beekeeping and to increase pollination in the District, DC residents may apply to keep their personally-owned honeybee hive on one of seven DPR designated beehive locations.
For more information please contact [email protected] or visit the Urban Beekeeping Program Page.
DPR's Urban Garden division has built and renovated 4 greenhouses across the District to be managed as greenhouse cooperatives for non-profits and volunteers to grow seedlings for non-profit purposes. In exchange for greenhouse growing space each member is responsible for donating seedlings and help with free public programming for DPR's programs and community.
For more information, and/or if you are a non-profit organization, resident or community group that may be interested, please contact Josh Singer, DPR Community Garden Specialist at [email protected].
DPR Urban Agriculture Research Assistant Internship Program
The DPR Urban Garden Division has a flexible ongoing volunteer internship program. This internship offers applicants the opportunity to participate, learn and understand DC’s urban Ag and food security movement, through managing and improving the above urban garden programs while working on several partner organization projects such as the DC Food Recovery Working Group and the DUG Network. The internship’s schedule is flexible and applications can be received through out the year. The minimum requirement is 10-hours a week for at least 4 months and upon completion of this internship participants will receive a DPR Urban Agriculture Research Assistant Certificate.
For more information please contact [email protected]. To apply send a resume and a one page cover letter.
Donate today to DPR's Urban Garden Education Program
Through this amazing program, DPR's Urban Garden division is focused on increasing access, knowledge and ability around expanding urban agriculture in the District. Over the years, Urban Garden Programs have consisted of creating over 100 free garden classes, creating critter proof and efficient community compost networks, and creating an extremely successful Garden Tool Share Program for District Residents. Thousands of District residents have participated in Urban Garden programs in the last two years and DPR is committed to expanding these programs in 2016.
** This program is made possible through The DC Office on Partnerships & Grants: The Fund to Advance Washington DC.
For more information contact:
Community Garden Specialist
Phone: (202) 262-2138
Email: [email protected]