Grow a Garden Program Changes FAQ

Why are there changes to the program in 2017?

DUG has operated the Seeds & Transplants Program since 1997. After available funding changed in 2016, DUG went through a planning process to determine how to move the program forward. Modifying the program was a necessary step to ensure that we can continue to provide resources to those most in-need in our community for years to come. Now called Grow a Garden, we are expanding what we offer and streamlining the program to provide seeds, seedlings and know-how to participants through participating distribution centers at a nominal fee.

Why are there fewer distribution centers?

Part of ensuring that the program can continue is making our operations more streamlined. In some cases, distribution centers were very close to one another and only serving a very small number of individuals. In 2017 we will be working with strategically located regional centers that are equipped to serve greater numbers of participants and provide support with the online application. This smaller number of identified centers allows us to streamline our efforts while making sure that participants can still access the necessary resources.

Why is there a fee?

There is a nominal fee to cover administrative and material costs associated with Grow a Garden. The fee is only a small fraction of the value of the resource available to participants. The fee for individuals and families can be waived in the application process if it is unaffordable or if a participant is unable to make a payment online. A fee also serves to create accountability for seed and seedling pick-up when using an online application.

Why is the application online? If I can’t fill it out online, can I fill it out on paper somewhere?

In 2017, the application is only available online. Distribution centers will not have paper applications, however they are equipped to help participants fill out the online application during the January application period. The application can be filled out on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. The program has been so successful and grown tremendously over the years, making the processing of paper applications beyond our capacity. Additionally, in order to ensure that we have the resources to fill all orders, we must be able to manage the total number of applications that we receive. Online applications allow us to do just that.

Do I have to take the class?

The learning opportunities available through Grow a Garden are optional, however we encourage you to attend and enhance your gardening know-how as your schedule allows. The fee does not change as a result of your participation in learning opportunities.

Is Growing Green—organic gardening to stretch your budget the only class you are going to offer?

Yes, in our first year of launching Grow a Garden, we will offer the same class at each distribution center. In future years, we will explore offering other types of classes based on participant feedback. We send out a survey at the end of the year, be sure to fill it out and tell us what you’d like to see the following year in regards to learning opportunities!

I would like to garden in a Denver Urban Gardens’ community garden this year, but I don’t know yet if I will get a plot. Can I apply as a DUG gardener in the first week of the application period?

Yes, if you are on a waitlist and hoping to get a plot in a community garden in 2017, you may apply during the first week of the application period as a DUG gardener.