Garden Lease Program

City-owned vacant lots are available to qualifying community or market gardens to lease to grow food.

Garden leases

Apply to lease a lot for your community garden group or market garden! The priority application period to apply to lease a lot for your community or market garden is closed. Available lots are leased on a first come, first served basis. To view the map of available lots and review the garden lease process, please view the Leasing a vacant City-owned lot section below. Then, complete the Garden Request Form for each new lot you wish to lease.

Leasing a vacant City-owned lot

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).

  1. View the map to see which lots are available. Click on individual icons for each lot to view soil test and lease length information .
  2. Determine if you qualify as a community or market garden and review the different lease requirements in the table below.
  3. Complete a Garden Request Form. If your request is approved, you will work with City staff to complete the lease requirements, detailed in the lease application packet.

Email with questions or to renew an existing garden lease.

Watch the Minneapolis Garden Lease Program video in Hmong

Lease requirements

Lease Requirements

Community Garden

Market Garden

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

Getting water for your garden 

Gardens and farms can renew or apply for a garden hydrant permit by calling 612-673-2865.

Hookups will begin after a check is received and a permit is approved. 

You can pay for your garden hydrant permit in person or by mail: 

City of Minneapolis
935 5th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

More resources

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

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