Garden Lease Program

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

The 2021 priority application to lease a City-owned lot for a community or market garden has closed and eligible lots (see map below) are now available on a rolling basis, first come, first served. 

Garden groups leasing City-owned lots are required to follow these COVID-19 safety guidelines (PDF), available in Community Garden COVID-19 recommendations - English Hmong Spanish  and Oromo

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 City of Minneapolis at 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 More information on how to access City water .

Interested in 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. E-mail gardenlease@minneapolismn.gov  to indicate the lot you are interested in leasing.
  4. 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 gardenlease@minneapolismn.gov with any questions or to renew an existing garden lease. The video on this page is also available 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
 

More resources

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Homegrown Minneapolis

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