Community Gardens

Starting a Community Garden in DC

The Neighborhood Farm Initiative, together with DC Field to Fork compiled a guide on starting a community garden, with tips on land, getting started, and funding.

Open Green Space in DC

Need help on finding current unused and potential community garden space? Check out our map that pinpoints unused garden space in DC.

DC Field to Fork 2013 Draft Community Garden Map

Also, check out the Neighborhood Farm Initiative’s 2013 (draft) Community Garden Census Map, below. If you know of a community garden that is not listed on this map, please email: with details about the community garden.

View DC Community gardens in a larger map

For more resources on Community Garden reports, vacant lands, and/or links to records please also visit the following links:

About the Community Garden Census

In Autumn 2009 and again in the winter of 2012 and 2013, the Neighborhood Farm Initiative conducted a city-wide community garden census. This project involved traveling to each of the gardens with a hand-held GPS device, walking the perimeters while marking waypoints, interviewing community gardeners, and later interviewing the community garden managers. To date, there has been no particular coordination between the community gardens in DC, and many community gardeners aren’t aware of how they could fit into a larger network of shared resources.

Purposes of the Census

1) Use GIS data to create a map of polygons depicting accurate square footage/acreage of land currently designated for use by community gardeners within the District of Columbia.

2) Use land ownership data to create layers of mapped data to increase transparency of knowledge and accountability by and for community gardens held under city or federal agencies (ie National Park Service, DC Parks & Recreation, etc).

3) Publish per-garden plot acquisition procedures broadly and publicly to increase utilization of underused community garden plots.

4) Gain insight into community organizing strategies and communication styles that work for managers of widely diverse communities of gardeners.

Potential Future Uses of the Census

1) Create baseline data to assess annual change in number of community gardens, area cultivated, and active usage over time.

2) Use responses from garden managers to inform a coordinated land management strategy whereby garden managers communicate with one another and their individual efforts can be coordinated.

3) Use interviews with both individual gardeners and garden managers to inform a distinct character profile of each community garden in DC.