Mission and Overview: Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) is an independent nonprofit organization that has come alongside community members to build and support community gardens throughout Metro Denver for more than 25 years. DUG offers neighborhoods the essential resources for community gardens, including ongoing technical expertise with:
- securing sustainable land for gardens;
- designing and building gardens;
- supporting garden organization, leadership, outreach and maintenance;
- utilizing gardens as extraordinary places for learning and healthy living; and
- linking gardens with related local food system projects and policy.
Denver Urban Gardens currently operates well over 135 community gardens, including 40 school-based community gardens. In addition, DUG operates DeLaney Community Farm (an urban community farm), the Master Composter Training Program, the Master Community Gardener Training Program, the Free Seeds and Transplants Program, and provides extensive opportunities for youth education in nutrition and gardening.
History: Denver Urban Gardens was established in 1985, in order to support Denver residents in creating sustainable, food-producing neighborhood community gardens. By 1993, DUG was the sole organization responsible for coordinating 21 active gardens, and by 1997, 32 new gardens and DeLaney Community Farm were established. Within the past decade, Denver Urban Gardens has created multiple ongoing youth and community education programs designed to facilitate community involvement and ensure long-term garden sustainability. In the past 29 years, DUG's network of community gardens has grown to well over 100, their youth education and community training programs have expanded to benefit thousands of underserved Coloradans annually, and research conducted in partnership with the Colorado School of Public Health indicates that DUG's efforts have lead to tangible, positive change in community health and food security.
Research: Gardens are good for neighborhoods! Click here to learn more about our Gardens for Growing Healthy Communities research initiative, which looks at how community gardens impact community health.
- Year established: 1985
- First community gardens: Pecos, El Oasis, and Shoshone Community Gardens in Denver's Highlands Neighborhood
- Total community gardens: 137
- Community gardens in planning for 2014: 15
- Total school-based community gardens: 40
- Amount of fresh produce grown in DUG community gardens: 220+ tons each year
- Annual volunteers: 4,500+
- Annual Free Seeds and Transplants recipients: 6,000+
Photos: Click here for a photo gallery of Denver Urban Gardens projects and programs. If you are interested in taking photos or video at a DUG community garden or at DeLaney Community Farm, please contact Rebecca Andruska, Development and Communications Director at 303.292.9900 or via email here.
- A Garden in Every Neighborhood is a brief documentary that highlights DUG's research with the Colorado School of Public Health, and the impact that community gardens have on neighborhoods.
- Click here to view videos of DUG's Westerly Creek Community and DeLaney Community Garden by Breaking Through Concrete.
- In partnership with LiveWell Colorado, Denver Urban Gardens offers webinars in topics related to community gardens and community food access. Click here to learn more.
- ElevationDC: From DC to Denver: School gardens growing next generation of leaders
- Seedstock: City of Denver Advances Local Food Policy with Public-Private Partnerships
- Denver Post: Denver may OK front-yard sales of home-grown produce, eggs, honey
- Aurora News Weekly: Free seeds for your garden
- 9News: One square block unites communities
- The Prowers Journal: Grants awarded for Colorado specialty crops
- Denver Post: HarvestShare Festival gives Denver residents a chance to share crops
- Confluence Denver: Quenching Denver's Food Deserts
- Denver Post: Aurora Public Schools opens first community garden
- Our Englewood News: Soiree celebrates community garden art
- Denver Post: Denver garden remembers- and transcends- violent '90s summers
- Denver Post YourHub: Community gardens are blossoming with residents in Adams County
- Denver Post YourHub: Little Elementary School wins community garden grant
- 9News: New partnership increases fresh food donations to food pantries
- Denver Post YourHub: Planting community at Garden Court
- Denver Post YourHub: New community garden coming to Aurora in spring 2013
- Denver Post: Historic Denver building will be restored as a hub for nonprofits, farmers market
- Arvada Press: Harvest hoedown
- 9News: Horse Barn is part of Denver's past and future
- Denver Post: All the Buzz - Local beekeepers host workshop
- North Denver Tribune: Fairview Elementary offers summer bounty on Sundays
- Washington Park Profile: Produce For Pantries Takes on Increasing Hunger in Denver with Community Efforts
- Denver Post: New park, featuring urban garden and playground, opens in east Denver
- Aurora Sentinel: Second nature: Aurora community gardens
- Arvada Press: Cornucopia of goals grows with garden
- Englewood Herald: Garden opens at Clayton Elementary
- JJIE: Young Inmates Doing Thyme in the Prison Garden
- NPR: At the community garden, it's community that's the hardest part
- The Lunchbox: Time to Think School Gardens!
- Denver Green Streets: The Feds Feed Denver Urban Gardens
- Denver Post: USDA digs the way Denver Urban Gardens grows
- KUNC: USDA Grant to Benefit Denver Urban Gardens
- Huffington Post: Denver Urban Gardens Awarded $70,000 Grant From USDA People's Garden Grant Program
Media inquiries: Please contact Rebecca Andruska, Development and Communications Director, via email here or at 303.292.9900.