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What is a Community Garden?

A Community Garden is a group of people coming together to nurture, develop and sustain a growing space in their community. There are over 80 community garden sites now operating in Edmonton promoting local, organically grown food; healthy and active lifestyles; and safer, more vibrant and connected communities.

Community gardens provide many benefits to Edmontonians including:

  • Recreation for all ages
  • Beautification of neighbourhoods
  • Healthy food production
  • Community building
  • Places to share gardening knowledge and experience

If you want to develop or expand a community garden project on City of Edmonton parkland, you will need to follow the Community Garden Development Process Flowchart which outlines the main steps and supports available to complete this process.

Gardening Requirements
  • Comply with Alberta Health Services public health orders for isolation if you are symptomatic, travelled, or have tested positive for COVID-19. These public health orders apply to all public areas, including community gardens.
  • Gardening groups are expected to create and document a Garden Access Plan that meets their needs based on the composition of the group, configuration of the garden, etc and make the plan available to all gardening participants.
  • The Garden Access Plan must:
    • Follow AHS guidelines for physical distancing: Maximum 50 people and a minimum 2 metre distance between individuals at all times. If individuals find that the garden is at capacity, they are expected to abstain from entering the space until enough people leave to respect the limit. 
    • Include a schedule to provide guidance for members on when they can safely tend to their plot. 
    • Inform where gardeners can go to access most up-to date guidelines
    • Describe how the group will monitor the use of the community garden.
    • Require hands to be washed and sanitized before entering and after leaving the garden site.
    • Identify common touch points including water taps and hoses, locks, and gates and provide direction on sanitizing them before and after touching.
    • Specify that gardeners must bring their own tools/equipment, gardening gloves and disinfecting products and must take these items with them when they leave. 
    • Where garbage receptacles are not located within the garden, gardeners must take their trash with them and deposit it in an appropriate garbage receptacle. 
    • Specify that time spent in the gardens is for the purpose of gardening only.
    • Be clear that only service animals can be permitted on site, animals must be leashed, wearing service vest/identification and not in direct contact with edibles. It is recommended to wash hands before and after interacting with pets.
    • Reduce risks of touch points if the community needs to access the garden through a gate, building, or other.
Site Signage

Community gardens will be required to post signage provided by the City of Edmonton that outlines key safety requirements.

  • If Work Bees are needed, consider creating small teams to undertake the work while practicing physical distancing
  • Consider designating a member the responsibility to open the locked gate in the morning, and to lock the gate at the end of the day, sanitizing the gate and lock before and after touching
  • Consider whether assigned plots rather than cooperative sites might be a better option this summer
  • If personal tools are not available, assign tools and associated tasks to a specific gardener for the season
  • Consider asking your community or hardware stores for tool donations for individual use
  • Encourage community caring and food security by asking gardeners to grow a row for the Edmonton Food Bank or other local charity
  • Where appropriate, recommend the use of personal watering-cans
  • Consider creating direction of flow signage through the garden area

*Please note that these guidelines are subject to change.

City of Edmonton Supports 

The City of Edmonton supports Community Gardens by:

  • Supporting Sustainable Food Edmonton
  • Making municipal land available for community gardens
  • Supporting Urban Agriculture in Edmonton, with recent amendments to zoning bylaws including:
    • Establishing 3 new land use classes - Urban Outdoor Farms, Urban Indoor Farms, and Urban Gardens. These new land use classes officially create a place for urban agriculture and distinguish it from related activities, such as conventional farming, greenhouses, plant nurseries and garden centres.
    • Excluding gardening for personal use from requiring a development permit.
    • Excluding community gardens from requiring a development permit on City Parkland. Note that in some cases, gardens will require a development permit (for example, if large amenities such as water lines, fixed benches/picnic tables, large sheds are planned for the site).

Community gardens are community-led and operated projects. You can find a garden near you by navigating the City of Edmonton Community Gardens map. This map contains gardens in Edmonton that have public membership, but some may not have plots currently available. Please contact garden groups directly regarding membership inquiries.

New Garden Projects and Grant Funding

Grant funding for new, pilot and expansion or renovation garden projects is administered by Sustainable Food Edmonton. Review grant guidelines, forms and templates prior to submission.

The grant application deadlines are February 28 and May 31.

If you need more information on starting a garden project in Edmonton, contact your Neighbourhood Resource Coordinator by calling 311 or send an email to the Community Greening Coordinator.

The City of Edmonton is expanding the number of community gardens through the pop-up community garden pilot.

View the COVID-19 community garden requirements and guidelines.

For More Information

Title Community Greening Coordinator

311 Contact Centre

Online Contact 311 Online

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555

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