What is a community garden?
A community garden is any piece of land gardened by a group of people, utilizing either individual or shared plots on private or public land. The land may produce fruit, vegetables, and/or ornamentals. Community gardens may be found in neighborhoods, schools, connected to institutions such as hospitals, and on residential housing grounds.
Types of Gardens
Did you know Marin County has an estimated 86 community gardens? Among these gardens there are five distinct varieties in which community can participate.
Neighborhood gardens may be what people typically think of when they hear the name community garden. This type of garden is normally defined as a garden where a group of people come together to grow fruits, vegetables and ornamentals. They are identifiable as a parcel of private or public land where individual plots are rented by gardeners at a nominal annual fee. Currenly Marin County has eight such gardens fitting this description.
Residential Gardens are typically shared among residents in apartment communities, assisted living, and affordable housing units. These gardens are mainly cared for by residents living on the grounds. There are an estimated seven residential gardens in Marin, with more in the planning stages.
Institutional Gardens are defined as gardens attached to either public or private organizations. These gardens offer a number of beneficial services for residents, ranging from mental or physical rehabilitation and therapy to teaching a set of skills for job placement. There are three known institutional gardens in Marin fitting this description.
Demonstration Gardens are used in educational and recreational settings. Oftentimes short seminars and presentations about gardening will be hosted at any of the five gardens located around the county. Other gardens will offer tours of their native species, such as Falkirk's Mediterranean Gardens.
For more information, visit:
- American Community Gardening Association
- Ground Rules: A Legal Toolkit for Community Gardens
- How To Start A Community Garden
- Marin Community Gardens Committee
- Marin County Community Needs Assessment
- Sample legal agreement between individual gardener and Community Garden Manager
- Sample letter soliciting support
- Sample letter thanking existing supporters
- Seeding the City: Land Use Policies to Promote Urban Agriculture
- Working with local government to create community gardens - Bob Brown, Director, Novato Community Development