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Start a DUG Garden

Are you interested in starting a new DUG community garden?

DUG offers individuals, community organizers, grassroots groups, and neighborhood associations the essential technical expertise for planning, launching, and maintaining community gardens and food forests across Metro Denver.

If you are a city planner, management company or developer looking to add a community garden to the list of your community’s amenities, learn more about our Community Collaborator program.

DUG’s Support Services Include:

  • Coordinating License Agreements and terms with landowner partners
  • Hosting community interest meetings
  • Designing and building gardens
  • Supporting garden organization, leadership, outreach, and maintenance
  • Connecting nearby gardens and gardeners to each other through our Micro Networks
  • Utilizing gardens as extraordinary places for learning and healthy living
  • Building gardens to serve as outdoor classrooms
  • Linking gardens with related local food system projects and policy
  • Fundraising support if needed
Take a look at DUG’s About page to see all the ways DUG supports community gardens after they are built.

In order to fully support our network of existing community gardens and to ensure all new gardens are successful, DUG typically builds no more than two community gardens a year.

The process to approve, build and launch a community garden typically takes three to five years from start to finish. DUG’s 2024 schedule is full. There are a couple different paths to a new DUG garden:

  • The 2025 and 2026 focus location is Denver’s West Area which includes the Barnum, Barnum West, Sun Valley, Valverde, Villa Park and West Colfax neighborhoods. If you are in one of these neighborhoods, fill out this application.
  • If you are in another area of town and your project is fully funded, DUG can connect you with a trusted partner to create your DUG garden. Please fill out this application!
  • If you are interested in a new garden anywhere in the Denver Metro area, fill out this application.

If you’d like assistance funding and a full DUG build, those builds will be 2027 or later.

Essential Criteria for New DUG Gardens

New DUG gardens are prioritized according to these guidelines:

  • At least one new build a year is prioritized for an area where greater food access and food sovereignty are needed
  • A critical mass of at least 10 people from all involved sectors (school, administration, community, neighborhood partners) need to be involved in the garden organizing and be interested having a plot at the garden
  • All Garden Leaders must be interested in having a plot at the community garden
  • The garden must be fully funded before the build begins
  • The new garden should not be within 1 mile of a garden that is not at 100% capacity
  • The proposed site must have access to water