Please follow COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Gardens and farms can 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.
How the city supports community gardening
Nearly 200 community gardens exist throughout the City of Minneapolis. Community gardens promote access to good nutrition, improve the ecological systems of the city, encourage active and healthy living, and provide spaces for community building, food production and beauty in our daily lives.
- The City of Minneapolis has flexible zoning for urban agriculture.
- We lease to nearly 60 gardens on vacant City-owned lots through the Minneapolis Garden Lease Program.
In addition to community and market gardens on City-owned lots, there are other community gardens throughout the city that offer plots. If you are seeking a plot in an existing Minneapolis community garden, please talk to your neighborhood organization.
Composting and soil health resources
The Minneapolis Solid Waste and Recycling offers low-cost or no-cost compost to qualifying community gardens. Compost is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. However, community gardens that have never received compost, have poor soil quality, or are start-up gardens will get priority.
The Water Works Permit Office issues hydrant garden 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.
To apply for a permit call (612) 673-2865.
Minnesota Brownfields has funding to help clean up properties to become community gardens
Minnesota Brownfields 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 to the UMN lab. Lead testing costs $15.
- University of Minnesota’s Soil Testing Laboratory
- Lawn/Garden & Professional Turf Tests
- Farm/Commercial Horticultural Fields Tests
- Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) Community Gardens
- MPRB Community Garden Information Sheet (pdf)
- MPRB Urban Agriculture Activity Plan
- Land 101 PowerPoint presentation (pdf)
- References to Community Gardens in the City’s Comprehensive Plan (pdf)
- Minnesota Community Gardening (formerly Gardening Matters)
- University of Minnesota Extension- Yard and Garden Resources
- American Community Gardening Association
- National Gardening Association
- Do It Green! Minnesota