Our 189th Garden has Launched!

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We’re thrilled to share that the Stober Community Garden, located at Stober Elementary School in Lakewood, CO, is 95% complete and taking names for people interested in plots for planting in Spring of 2022! 

Interested in joining? Contact the Garden Leaders at

Five years ago, Richard Cooper-Ribner, a lifelong gardener and resident of Applewood, first had the idea to build a community garden in the neighborhood alongside a couple fellow gardeners. He and his neighbors started a free produce market across the corner from Stober Elementary, and over time the market stand evolved, finding its new home on the school grounds to involve and engage students in the process of how food is grown.

Richard and others regularly attended the annual JeffCo Garden Symposium where they connected with educators at neighboring schools like DUG’s Green Gables School and Community Garden to learn more about their process of seeking funding for a garden through grants. 

From there, the founding neighbors brought this idea for a community garden on the grounds of a school to others within the Sustainable Applewood Neighborhood group and to Stober Elementary principal, Anne DiCola, who jumped in enthusiastically to support the project. Anne brought the idea to the JeffCo Public Schools and championed the garden as an invaluable resource for both the school and the community as a whole. By working together with community members of Sustainable Applewood, the Applewood Valley Association, Stober Elementary, and the Stober PTA, they set to work to bring this collective vision to life.

DUG was first brought to the table to support the initial design process and then later for the actual construction process.

With the support of an incredible volunteer grant writer & community member, and with significant neighborhood fundraising, the Stober Community Garden planning group secured enough funds to move forward with the build. 

When it came time to break ground this spring, DUG organized a series of workdays for the construction of the garden, while also working with the local community to support the organizational setup. Early this fall, DUG also helped to organize a workday where the Stober Elementary students helped plant cover crop seeds and perennials along with their “hopes and dreams” in the garden. 

Now that the garden has been brought to life, we caught up with a few members of the project, including Richard, as well as Julie Auch and Sarah Claus, to hear more about what benefits they hope will be reaped in the garden and the Applewood community over the coming years. They talked about how special the project has been for bringing the community together to work towards a common goal, and what it means to have a multi-generational meeting place that provides learning and social opportunities for adults and children alike. 

The Stober Community Garden had their first fall pie social in late October, and looks forward to hosting new community events including the annual seed share and produce market in the garden next year. This community is excited to see the garden become a hub for the neighborhood and to grow their green thumbs together!

Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation Supports the BII

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DUG is grateful and proud to be partnering with Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation on our Baseline Infrastructure Initiative (BII). This holistic program is centered on supporting a thriving community garden by increasing equity across DUG’s entire network of 188 community gardens to ensure that all are resourced at an equitable level. Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation has been, and will continue to be, a key partner in these efforts.

Sprouts funding has supported a range of BII projects through the past year, and Alex, DUG’s Fransisco Cordero apprentice, will continue supporting these efforts through the winter months. Alex will continue to work with DUG’s various communities on the human infrastructure piece of the BII initiative by providing support to our most under-resourced gardens. Alex is also continuing to collaborate on physical infrastructure projects including building community spaces that include pergolas, seating, and outdoor classroom spaces, while actively leading volunteer groups to learn more about different aspects of the green industry.This partnership with Sprouts has enabled the reactivation of the Goldrick Elementary Community Garden to make it more of a welcoming space. Students and local youth love working on the garden, and much-needed restoration has been made including reframing and replacing old plot edging, repaving pathways with weed barriers, adding plant pollinators and seedlings for planting, working with Denver Public Schools to make the fencing and entryway more welcoming with art and perennials, and providing support for programming and teachers at the Goldrick School.

Sprouts has also supported BII water infrastructure that includes water tank delivery and installation at the Beeler and Sanctuary Gardens. Additionally, improvements have been made at the Asian Pacific Development Center Community Garden that include pergolas and seating.

DUG is also thrilled to share that Sprouts Growing School Gardens Summit is happening for the first time in Denver this year. This Summit is a gathering designed to support the diversity of our shared work and strengthen the school garden movement at local and national levels so that all children and youth can have vibrant, resilient school garden programs.

We can’t wait to continue this collaboration with Sprouts over the next two years as we build community and work together to make urban gardening more equitable for all.

Our 10th annual Gather ‘Round was a smashing success!

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Thank you to everyone who made this year’s Gather ‘Round such a success!

We were able to gather safely with 260 of our friends and community members to enjoy a special night of live music from The Dollhouse Thieves, gorgeous farm-to-table-inspired food from Dana Rodriguez, as well as be inspired by our keynote speaker Stephen Ritz.

Between the silent auction, wine wall, and paddle raise, we were also able to meet our fundraising goal for this event! We are so grateful to everyone who showed support for us as well as our sponsors who helped make this night possible.

Check out DUG on Colorado and Company!

By News

We’ve been dropping by Colorado and Company with 9News to introduce audiences to our fabulous DUG community and gardens. Explore the segments below.

Planning for Your Growing Season with Jungle Judy

Sharing Gardening Resources & Programming with Local Schools

Cultivating Wonder with our Youngest Gardeners

Removing Barriers to Access with Our Grow a Garden Program

Supporting Your Health and Wellness in a Community Garden

Preserving Land and Green Spaces for Metro Denver

Simple Tips for Indoor Gardening and Growing

Become a Backyard Composter with DUG’s Jungle Judy

Check out our Growing Gardeners Program for Local Youth

Learning in School-Based Community Gardens

Meet DUG’s Youngest Gardener and Community Member

Rediscover What a Healthy Garden Can Look Like

Be Inspired by Diverse People and Plants of the Beeler St. Garden

Building Community at the Colorful West Colfax Garden

Keep Your Garden Thriving Through the Summer Heat

Dig Into the Dirt for Your Mental and Physical Health

Composting with A1 Organics and Denver Recycles


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Micro network activation with the DUG Corps

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With 188 gardens and around 17,500 gardeners, our DUG network has grown quickly over the last 10 years. After soliciting feedback from the community during our 2020 Listening Tour, we recognized that we could more efficiently organize our network to better connect with our gardeners to ensure all gardens had the resources they needed. From our brainstorming, two ideas emerged:

  1. to create a ‘corps’ that could be ‘hands in the soil’ for DUG to ensure our gardens were resourced equitably and address any deficiencies
  2. to develop ‘micro networks’ within the DUG garden network so that neighboring gardens could connect and build relationships to organize collaborative workdays, learn from one another, and be a support when problems arose

After several months of diligent work, we are thrilled to share we now have seven micro networks within the DUG community garden system:

  • Green- SouthWest Sugar Snap Peas
  • Maroon- Northside Nasturtiums
  • Orange- Midtown Mung Beans
  • Purple- Central Cucumbers
  • Coral- Southern Spicy Peppers
  • Yellow- East Central Endive
  • Blue- Eastern Eggplants

In June, we also launched our inaugural cohort of the DUG Corps, who have been busy activating these micro-networks through garden workdays and community gatherings.

Their efforts began with a massive public awareness campaign to community gardeners, sending information about the networks as well as invitations to upcoming micro-network events. Then they got to work in the gardens themselves!

In the last two months, our DUG Corps have visited about 50 out of our 137 public community gardens to check in on the gardens and assess whether they were meeting the requirements of our Baseline Infrastructure Initiative. They have also planned and organized outreach for 15 micro network events, along with attending more than 10 workdays or community events that the gardens themselves organized in order to lend a hand and support their work.

In addition to their community organization work, they have additionally supported or led around 17 corporate or volunteer workdays at under-resourced gardens. Perhaps most excitingly, they have also helped activate three gardens that were in a state of neglect by organizing massive plot cleanups and engaging neighbors to become gardeners!

We are so thrilled with all of the work the DUG Corps has put in so far this season, and can’t wait to see how our micro networks continue to strengthen in the coming years.

If you’d like to request the DUG Corps visit your garden to support a workday or a community engagement event, please contact

Mark your calendars for our Fall Plant Sale

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Our Fall Plant Sale is back!

Mark your calendars! Our Fall Plant Sale will be Saturday, August 7th from 10am-1pm at DUG HQ within the Posner Center.

We’re excited to be bringing back our popular Fall Plant Sale to the community, along with a free ‘Tips for a Fall Garden’ workshop from Senior Education Specialist Jungle Judy Elliott running at 11am and 12pm.

Come get cool-season plants + cover crop seeds, stock up on organic compost, and pre-order your fall garlic while enjoying time with other DUG community members.

We’ll also be hosting the SAME Café food truck on site. Come for the plants, seeds, and soil and stay for the delicious food!

DUG + MLB = a home run!

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On Friday, July 9th 2021, Denver Urban Gardens partnered with Spark the Change Colorado and Major League Baseball for a day of volunteer service at three different DUG gardens to kick off All-Star Week!

DUG hosted more than 70 volunteers at the Horesbarn Community Garden, Morey Middle School Community Garden, and at Delaney Farm. Working together, the groups completed a variety of projects including building a shade pergola, laying down pathways, planting fruit trees, and weeding beds.

Despite scorching temperatures, the day was fun-filled and highly-productive as volunteers came together in service of community and food access. The  partnership with Spark the Change Colorado and MLB was a winning combo, for sure!

Images courtesy of Major League Baseball.

There are some new faces at DUG!

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As part of our Baseline Infrastructure Initiative, we’ve activated our first-ever DUG Corps along with the Fransisco Cordero legacy apprentice program and a youth green team through Groundwork Denver

Meet the DUG Corps Members

Our first two Corps Members, Anastasia Hill and Eliza Greene, are providing daily ‘boots on the ground’ support for our 180+ gardens. Their work focuses on supporting community-led workdays with extra hands, organizing and leading ‘micro-network’ (clusters of DUG gardens located near one another) educational and social events, and visiting all of the gardens to connect with Garden Leaders and gardeners about their needs, troubleshooting as necessary.

Anastasia started with DUG in 2017, helping to lay the foundation for garden micro-networks as part of her Environmental Leadership graduate thesis project with Naropa University. With a focus on food justice, social systems, and community care, she continued volunteering as both gardener and garden leader in the following years. Originally from Florida, she’s fallen in love with the Colorado ecosystems, including both land and people, and is passionate about bringing individuals closer to each other and the environment that helps them thrive.
She brings over 10 years of non-profit experience in a variety of roles, all involving community activation and connection. In her free time, she’s a Jiu Jitsu practitioner and enjoys gardening at home with her cat or lounging in parks with friends and plenty of snacks.

Eliza joins the 2021 DUG Corps with a passion for gardening and community. She grew up around gardening and farming in Massachusetts and worked in landscaping seasonally for many years. Eliza brings her love for digging in the dirt and helping things grow with her to her role at DUG. With a background in sociology and community organizing, she also brings curiosity about the world around her and dedication to making it better. She loves that community gardens are a place of skill-sharing, education, empowering people, and building community resilience.

In her free time, Eliza is most likely going for a walk in nature with her rescue dog Jasper, lost in a good book, or attending a community event.

We are still hiring for one more seasonal DUG Corps position. BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, non-native English speakers, and other underrepresented folks are encouraged to apply!

Meet our Fransisco Cordero Legacy Apprentice 

Our inaugural apprentice, Alex Oldham, works closely with our Director of Physical Infrastructure and Community Engagement, Nessa Mogharreban. Under her guidance, Alex is working to learn the ropes of urban garden construction and maintenance. Together, they lead our volunteer workdays, attend to maintenance calls in the garden, and work on new infrastructure projects related to the BII.

Alex is our newest member of the team. He is a very outgoing yet nonchalant person who is easy to connect with. Alex is a natural athlete with a lot of motivation to be in better physical shape and reach higher levels of skill. He loves all kinds of fruit and is trying to add more vegetables to his menu.  He grew up doing farm work with his grandfather and is familiar with getting out and doing physical activities. He loves to spend time alone to watch movies or vibe to some music and is a lowkey superhero nerd.

Learn more about Alex in our Faces of DUG project.

Meet our youth green team with Groundwork Denver

Baz, Dante, Greg and leader Magali are part of Groundwork Denver’s program of youth environmentalists, acting as the organization’s task force to implement projects to improve Denver’s urban environment. The principal goals of the Green Team are to prepare youth for educational and career success, encourage them to become engaged members of the community and demonstrate alternative career pathways in fields like natural resources and sustainability.

Under the supervision of our Director of K-12 Education, Rob Payo, the green team works in tandem DUG Corps members to activate underutilized gardens by clearing weeds, laying compost, and repairing plot borders. The green team also maintains our DUG demonstration plot and joins volunteer workdays as needed.

As part of our partnership with Groundwork Denver, the green team is introduced to nutritious cooking through bi-weekly cooking classes at DUG HQ, where they learn how to prepare food that is harvested from the gardens!

Word of Thanks with Kyle Clark

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DUG is honored to be this week’s 9 News + Kyle Clark’s Word of Thanks recipient!

The Word of Thanks micro-giving campaign brings viewers across Metro Denver together in the spirit of collective fundraising. Every $5 or more that is donated through the campaign helps Denver Urban Gardens provide infrastructure upgrades to existing community gardens and reduce barriers to growing fresh, organic food for metro Denverites.

We work directly with communities to increase access to land, provide resources for people to successfully grow healthy nutritious food, as well as gain resilience for themselves + connect to their communities.

Donations support our new Baseline Infrastructure Initiative (BII), a holistic program centered on establishing and increasing equity across DUG’s entire network of community gardens. The BII covers both physical and human resources to ensure that all 188 of our gardens are resourced at an equitable level to support a thriving community garden producing optimum yield. Read more about our BII work here.