New Community Gardens

Steps to Building a New Community Garden

A community garden typically takes 1-2 years to build, from the time we process and approve a proposal to completion. Neighborhood energy and effort are the strongest factors for successful gardens. The more people that are involved in the development and implementation of the community garden, the easier and smoother the process becomes, and the faster their vision can become a reality.

Please refer to our New Community Garden Proposal Manual for more detailed information.

For a copy of the New Community Garden Application Form, click here.

To receive more information, please complete our New Community Garden Inquiry Form.

Recommended Steps:

A community garden is typically a 1-2 year process, from proposal to completion.

Neighborhood energy and effort are the most important factors for success!

More people = Faster, Better-Designed, and More Active Gardens

Step 1: Choose a Garden Site/Neighborhood

Bringing a Community Garden to your neighborhood is most successful when you have a potential garden site in mind.

When choosing a garden site…

Think about sunlight (6 hours/day minimum on 50% or more of the space)

Water access

Neighborhood need/interest

*Please note that the site you choose initially may change as a result of feedback from community members.

Step 2: Review Community Garden Proposal Application and VINES Criteria

-Review the Garden Proposal Manual

-Visit successful community gardens and observe what makes them successful

– Learn the roles (jobs) and responsibilities of a community garden, including garden advocate, site coordinator, garden manager, etc.  

 -Start brainstorming ideas with an open mind

Step 3: Attend Mandatory Garden Proposal Workshop

This workshop will help you think about:

-Garden site requirements

-Steps and resources for you and other garden advocates

-Community outreach tools

 -Feedback on proposals

Step 4: Conduct Community Outreach 

-Post flyers about the proposed garden 

-Collect digital signatures and feedback from neighbors interested in supporting the garden

-For the sake of Community Safety during the Covid-19 Epidemic, we ask that garden advocates do not engage in door knocking or in-person group gatherings at this time.

Step 5: Respond to Community Feedback (Advice)

If the garden has many supporters,  move forward with the garden proposal. 

If you hear concerns, problems, questions or suggestions  from community members, think about how you might change your proposal.

Step 6: Submit Garden Proposal with your team

Proposals are due May 1st.  You can submit your proposal to

Step 7: Wait for Garden Proposal Decisions

Proposals will be reviewed and scored by a Community Garden Committee which consists of VINES staff, Current Community Gardeners, and Site Coordinators. A decision will be made in April.

Step 8: Meet with VINES

Upon proposal acceptance, VINES and Garden Advocate(s) will meet to discuss the proposal and any revisions that may need to be made. Dates for community meetings will be confirmed and the design process will begin in greater detail.

Step 9: Advertise for Community Garden Planning Meeting

-Hang up Posters 

-Share on social media

-Get neighbors to register for the Community Garden Planning Meeting

Step 10: Community Garden Planning Meeting

-Together, VINES and neighborhood participants brainstorm ideas for the garden design.

-Draw a garden design (May take several meetings)

During the Covid-19 Epidemic, these meetings will need to be held virtually over Zoom, Conference Call, and Facebook Live.

Step 11: Make a Timeline for Garden Construction 

   Work with VINES to create a calendar for different stages of garden construction.

   Recruit volunteers to help with each stage.

Step 12: Choose Site Coordinator(s)

Garden Advocates, community members and supporters of the project, identify two potential site coordinators who will complete VINES’ mandatory Site Coordinator Orientation.

Step 13: Engage and Inform Community Members

-Contact people who signed up to support the garden

-Contact local businesses 

-VINES will help your team coordinate volunteers for each stage of the garden build

Step 14: BUILD!

-Organized workdays 

-Install community garden amenities, such as entry gates, benches, murals by local artists, arbors, information boards, trees, shrubs, perennial beds, etc.