Community Gardens


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The City of Columbus Land Bank Community Garden Program

The Division of Land Redevelopment works with community groups, non-profits, companies, and individuals to help organize and build community gardens on Land Bank lots. Examples include urban farms, rain gardens, butterfly gardens, vegetable gardens, community beautification projects and other types of projects that benefit the surrounding neighborhood. If you are interested in starting a community garden, please e-mail and include the area in which you are interested. If a site is available, an application will be provided. Applications are accepted anytime during the year on a rolling basis. The City Land Bank staff will do their best to process applications in a timely manner.

Please review the Policy Fact Sheet before starting:

What is on the garden application?

  • The parcel and address you wish to license and why
  • Your contact and background information
  • Your experience with gardening, the community and your objectives in a project narrative
  • How you will fund the project and what improvements will be made to the property
  • Community Garden Liability Waiver and Indemnification: All participants must sign a Community Garden Liability Waiver and Indemnification form before entering onto the premises
  • Site Plan: A drawing of the proposed garden with the locations of any proposed improvements to the property. Drawings need to be legible and labeled with dimensions and can be drawn by hand or done on a computer. If you are planning on constructing a fence on the property, please review the Vision Clearance language in the Columbus City Code before submitted your site plan.

 oak garden gilbert garden

Community Garden License Agreement

  • Process: If your application is approved, gardeners are required to sign a Garden License Agreement with the City, which contains language spelling out the rules of the garden program.
  • Expiration and Renewal: All garden licenses expire on March 31st and may be renewed annually
  • Expense: The cost to license a community garden from the Land Bank is $50.00 per parcel and $10.00 per parcel to renew. A check or money order made payable to the "Columbus City Treasurer" is required. We cannot accept cash.

Community Garden Helpful Resources

water cistern

What does the City provide to help get started?

  1. Water Containment System
    • Since 2012, the City Land Bank has provided 550 gallon cisterns to community gardeners who have demonstrated a need for more water. It is at the discretion of the City if a garden warrants approval of receiving a cistern.
    • As funding permits, the City may provide one free refill of water for the tank each year. Gardeners are encouraged to make separate plans to refill it by collecting rain water or other arrangements.
    • Pumps are not included with the cistern, but the City will raise it off the ground on cinder blocks.
  2. Garden Start-up Grants
    • Starting in 2015, the City has provided qualified Land Bank gardeners small grants per licensee to spend on buying items to help develop and build their gardens. Eligible items include building materials, soil, plant food, and mulch. Tools are not an acceptable purchase due to funding restrictions.
  3. Soil and Com-til
    • When available, the City may provide top soil to community gardens. Additionally, the Department of Public Utilities may provide com-til to community gardens. Com-til is also available for purchase directly from Public Utilities. More information can be found at Com-til Compost.