How many community gardens are there in Calgary?

There are 87 public community gardens, 82 private community gardens (total 169) of all styles within the Calgary city limits as of July 4, 2016.

What is a community garden?

It is any group of people who come together to garden. People of all ages who are new or experienced gardeners are warmly welcomed. Community gardens come in many different shapes and sizes. They can be large or small, on the ground or on rooftops, in raised bed plots, in containers or a mixture of all of these. Gardeners can have their own individual plot within the community garden and can also join with others to grow some crops together as a team, sharing in the work and the harvest. Every community garden is unique and develops from what the gardeners decide.

Where is the City of Calgary’s Community Garden Application form?

How long does it take to start a community garden?

In general, if you start in the fall, you’re likely to have an operational garden by the following spring. There are some exceptions; with the right group of people championing the project, we’ve seen a few community gardens come together in little as a few weeks. By the same token, some gardens need about a year to address local challenges. It all depends on whether there is local support for a community garden, what kind of land approval is needed and how much time is required to write grant proposals and fundraise for the garden.

What can you grow in a community garden?

You can grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and annual or perennial flowers. Often the beautification gardens are communal and may have a particular focus such as a butterfly garden, a bird garden, a woodland garden or a native plant garden. Most gardens have an area reserved for growing vegetables to be given away as a gift to charitable organizations feeding people who do not have enough food.

What does it cost to join a community garden in Calgary?

Every garden is different. Rental rates in 2015 range from $10 to $75 depending on the size of the garden bed. Some have a refundable deposit that is returned to the gardener if the garden plot is maintained and cleaned up by a specific date at the end of the growing season. Many gardens are on city-owned public land and you must be a member of the local community association in order to garden there and be covered under the community association liability insurance.

Who gets involved in community gardens?

People of all ages, cultures and gardening experience are welcome to be part of community gardens.

Why do people join a community garden?

Some of the reasons are: to grow flavorful, fresh, organic, chemical-free food, to connect with nature, for recreation, to save money on groceries, to improve the urban environment (water runoff, noise, heat, air, soil and wildlife ecology), to practice sustainable living, to improve neighbourhood security, for mental and physical wellness and to create a friendlier community, to name just a few.

Does Calgary have allotment gardens?

Not at this time. Allotment garden plots are usually larger than community plots and there is a fee to rent a plot. In allotment gardens there is no garden leadership team and no social activities. They are usually located away from city neighbourhoods. Community garden plots, while smaller in size, are in neighbourhoods and all decisions concerning the garden are made by the gardeners themselves.

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