Minneapolis Garden Lease Program
The current Minnesota Stay at Home Executive Order allows for gardening and farming. If possible to delay starting seasonal gardening activities, this is preferable. Garden groups leasing City-owned lots are required to follow these COVID-19 safety guidelines (PDF), available in English, Hmong, Spanish and Oromo. Gardens and farms can still renew or apply for a garden hydrant permit by calling 612-673-2865. Check payments for permit fees must be mailed to 250 South 4th Street, Room 206, Minneapolis, MN 55415 instead of dropped off in person. Hookups will begin after a check is received and a permit is approved. More information on how to access City water.
Interested in leasing a vacant City-owned lot? Start here
City-owned vacant lots are available to qualifying community or market gardens to lease to grow food. This program does not lease to individuals seeking a plot in an existing community garden (see the 'More resources' section below).
- View the map to see which lots are available. Click on individual icons for each lot to view soil test and lease length information.
- Determine if you qualify as a community or market garden and review the different lease requirements in the table below.
- Fill out a garden request form. Requests are currently being considered on a rolling basis, first come, first served. If your request is approved, you will work with City staff to complete the lease requirements, detailed in the lease application packet.
|Qualify as an eligible garden group|
Defined as, “land used by a group of individuals to grow food or ornamental crops for donation or personal use. Community gardens may be divided into separate plots or may be farmed collectively by members of the group” (Minneapolis Code §520.160).
One or two individuals intending to grow food for themselves or their family are not eligible to lease a lot as a community garden.
Defined as, “land used to grow or process food or ornamental crops to sell or donate” (Minneapolis Code §520.160).
Market gardens can be one person or a group of individuals.
|Notify nearby neighbors of intent to lease garden lot(s)||Required||Required|
|Obtain sponsorship||Identify a sponsor organization, such as a neighborhood organization or 501(c)(3) non-profit. Sponsor organizations sign the lease with the City and often support insurance fees.||No sponsor organization required, but must be a business or non-profit registered to operate in Minnesota.|
|Complete City of Minneapolis online bidder registration process & W-9 form||Sponsor organizations must complete if not already registered with City.||Businesses or non-profits must complete if not already registered with City.|
|Draft and submit a garden site plan to meet zoning and development standards.||Required (see Minneapolis Code §536.20)||Required (see Minneapolis Code §536.20)|
|Comply with Pollinator Friendly City Resolution||Required||Required|
|Provide liability insurance coverage||$1 million||$2 million|
|Pay the one-time administrative fee||$50||$50|
|Pay the annual lease fee||$1/year||$150/year|
For more detailed information about lease requirements, view the lease application packet.
- Compost. Low and no-cost compost is available each spring and fall, while supplies last, for qualifying community gardens only.
- Water access. Learn more about options for accessing water for your garden or farm.
- Supporting pollinators. Learn more about pollinator friendly practices and how to create pollinator habitat.
- Need plants, seeds and tools? Apply for a Minnesota Green membership through the Minnesota State Horticultural Society.
- Seeking a plot in an existing community garden?
- Apply for an individual plot at a community garden in Minneapolis parks
- Ask your neighbors or check bulletin boards at local coffee shops, businesses or libraries for openings at existing gardens
- Ask your neighborhood organization
- Join the COMGAR listserv and write a post with what you're looking for
- Check out Minnesota Community Gardening (formerly Gardening Matters) for other resources and helpful community gardening tips
- Learn more about local food policy
Should you require a reasonable accommodation in order to fully participate, or information in an alternative format, please email [email protected] Para asistencia 612-673-2700 - Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 - Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500
Last updated Jul 2, 2020