For Community Gardeners
City-owned Parcels Available for Community Gardens
The City of Minneapolis has vacant lots available to qualifying groups to lease for community gardens. These City-owned lots were selected because they are not appropriate for development. This means that they will remain available for years of gardening even as the economy changes and redevelopment picks up. More information and a map of Minneapolis-owned vacant lots are available online.
New in 2014, 29 lots available for community gardens in North Minneapolis on a year-to-year basis. List of properties and map of properties. If one of these lots is leased by a community garden, the City will assist in testing the soil for lead.
Minneapolis Local Food Resource Hubs Network
- Do you want to grow your own food, but don’t know how?
- Are you interested in low-cost seeds, seedlings, wood chips or classes?
- Do you want to become part of a neighborhood-based support network of urban gardeners?
The hubs are designed to get Minneapolis residents and community gardeners the tools and education they need to grow, preserve, cook and compost their own fresh produce, by offering supplies, classes and connections. To reserve your membership spot, contact Gardening Matters at (612) 821-2358 or download the membership form (in English, Spanish, Hmong or Somali) online. This program is made possible in part by funding from the Minneapolis Health Department and the Statewide Health Improvement Program.
Bee Smart, Bee Friendly, Help our Pollinators
- Healthy Bees Healthy Lives
- Beez Kneez Community Education Programs
- University of Minnesota Bee Lab
- "Mitigating Pollinator Decline", Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability, University of Minnesota
- Upper Midwest Plants for Bees, Xerces Society
Hydrant Water Permits for Community Gardens and Urban Farms
The Water Works Permit Office issues garden water permits to community gardens and urban farmers to access a specific fire hydrant for their garden/farm when there is no other water option available. The person must have legal documentation from owner giving permission to use land. These permits are issued seasonally, the water usage is metered and paid for during the growing season. For further questions please call (612) 673-2865 or write to:
Minneapolis Water Treatment and Distribution
Room 224, Public Service Center
250 South 4th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Minnesota Brownfields has funding to help clean up properties to become community gardens
Minnesota Brownields received Environmental Response Fund funding in 2014 to provide small grants for environmental assessment and clean-up of property in contamination levels at proposed redevelopment and community garden sites. The fund is intended to be used for unexpected environmental issues, to prepare for a larger funding request in the County testing cycle, or to identify/clarify and, in some cases, remediate suspected environmental concerns. Grants are awarded on a rolling basis. Eligible community garden sites must be either owned or controlled by a public entity or a nonprofit organization. The application (pdf) asks for city approval, but formal authorization was passed by the City Council on May 13, 2011, so Minneapolis community garden applicants do not need to take additional steps to provide it.
For private property, soil testing for lead, salt and other nutrient tests can be completed by sending soil samples into the University of Minnesota’s Soil Testing laboratory as described on their website. Lead testing costs $15.
- Lawn/Garden & Professional Turf Tests
- Farm/Commercial Horticultural Fields Tests
- Soil Testing Form with Prices
Last updated Apr. 2, 2014