A sustainable urban future where people are deeply and directly connected to the earth, each other, and the food they eat
To provide access, skills, and resources for people to grow healthy food in community and regenerate urban green spaces
- Earn TRUST
- Demonstrate INTEGRITY
- Embrace EQUITY
- Build COMMUNITY
- Inspire CURIOSITY
Denver Urban Gardens started as a grassroots movement in the late 1970s when gardeners in Denver’s Northside neighborhood came together to create a space for a group of local Hmong women to grow their own food. Working collaboratively, they transformed a vacant parking lot into what is now the Pecos Community Garden, and over the following years, more community gardens began to spring up as the group helped other neighbors do the same.
DUG was formally incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1985 to support Denver residents in creating sustainable, food-producing neighborhood community gardens. Over the past 35+ years, our network of community gardens has expanded across six metro Denver counties. We currently oversee 200 community gardens, including 66 school-based community gardens, and 20 food forests.
In addition to our gardens, DUG programs provide access, skills, and resources to help people grow food in community and regenerate urban green space. We offer youth programming, skill-building workshops for adults, community-centered events, volunteer workdays, free and reduced-cost seeds and seedlings, and compost training.
How We Support Our Gardens
- Provide approved access to the land where communities can come together to grow food
- Establish and maintain working relations with garden property owner agencies
- Negotiate and maintain garden site use agreements
- Recruit & support garden leadership
- Support gardener recruitment and placement
- Mediate inter-community gardener conflicts when necessary
- Respond to inquiries from the general public
- Provide liability insurance coverage for gardens
- Serve as liaison between gardens and city officials, agencies and water providers
- Provide fiscal management of garden accounts (when requested)
- Provide garden maintenance support (eg, turning water off/on seasonally, helping with repairs, etc.)
- Coordinate volunteer groups and supervise large maintenance and improvement projects
- Provide school gardens with volunteer background checks, approved protocols and programming support