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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 30 years. DUG offers neighborhoods the essential resources for community gardens, including ongoing technical expertise with:

  1. securing sustainable land for gardens;
  2. designing and building gardens;
  3. supporting garden organization, leadership, outreach and maintenance;
  4. utilizing gardens as extraordinary places for learning and healthy living; and
  5. linking gardens with related local food system projects and policy.

Denver Urban Gardens currently operates over 150 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 30 years, DUG’s network of community gardens has grown to well over 150, 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.

Quick facts:

  • Year established: 1985
  • First community gardens: Pecos, El Oasis, and Shoshone Community Gardens in Denver’s Highlands Neighborhood
  • Total community gardens: 150
  • Community gardens in planning for 2015: 12
  • Total school-based community gardens: 46
  • Amount of fresh produce grown in DUG community gardens: 350+ tons each year
  • Annual volunteers: 4,500+
  • Annual Free Seeds and Transplants recipients: 6,000+

Media inquiries: Please contact Rebecca Andruska, Development and Communications Director, via email here or at 303.292.9900.