The City of Columbus Land Bank Community Garden Program
The Land Redevelopment Office is looking for community groups, non-profits, companies, and individuals to help organize and build community gardens on Land Bank properties. Our Office manages vacant properties throughout the City-- a list is available here-- any property WITHOUT A STRUCTURE may be eligible. The list contains all of the City Land Bank's properties that are for sale including lots and structures. Please be mindful that any structure on the list is not eligible for a community garden. For a list of vacant lots only, please click on the map below. Urban agriculture projects, rain gardens, community beautification projects and other types of projects that benefit the surrounding neighborhood are encouraged. In a typical year, around 40-50 sites are used by various community groups, individuals, garden clubs, businesses, and neighbors.
CLICK ON THE MAP BELOW TO SEE
AVAILABLE PARCELS FOR COMMUNITY GARDENS:
(Last Updated 5/17/13)
In 2011, the Land Redevelopment Office modified the community garden program. Generally, it could take a week or less to process an applicaiton depending on the total number of applications received at one time or the details and questions impacting an applcation. The City Land Bank staff will do their best to process applications in a timely manner, but please be considerate of our other obligations. Applications can be dropped off or mailed to the City of Columbus Land Redevelopment Office at 109 N. Front Street, Columbus, OH 43215. Gardeners will now be required to submit a new Community Garden Application. The application requires much more detail than in the past, including:
- Site Plan: A drawing of the proposed garden with the locations of any proposed, or in the case of an established garden, existing improvements. Drawings need to be legible and can be drawn by hand, on a basic computer drawing program, or, if applicable, full renderings or professional plans.
- Gardening Rules and Requirements: All gardening groups are encouraged to develop a set of rules to manage the site. Several examples are available on the internet and should include rules for assigning individual plots, hours of operation, use of tools, trash disposal, etc.
- Community Garden Liability Waiver and Indemnification: All participants must sign a Community Garden Liability Waiver and Indemnification form. A copy is attached to the application or available here.
Community Garden License Agreement
- Process: Gardeners are required to sign a Garden License Agreement, which contains language intended to reduce potential conflicts between gardens and adjacent property owners and to ensure the sites are well maintained. For a simplified compilation of the City of Columbus code and policy, click GetGreen Columbus.
- Length of Time: The License Agreement is a maximum one year agreement unless more time is determined appropriate by the City Land Bank staff, which will be determined on a case by case basis.
- Renewing and Expiration: Starting in 2012, garden licensees will not have to complete an entire new application or license if they are renewing. Instead, they will be required to sign an Amendment to their previous Garden License Agreement, extending it for one year, and they will have to sign a new Community Garden Liability Waiver and Indemnification. All new licenses will expire on March 31st of the following year unless the amendment is signed prior to the end date as noted on the Garden License Agreement. If the license expires, a new license will need to be completed by the community garden group, individual, etc.
- Expense: The cost to license a community garden from the Land Bank is ten dollars per parcel. A check or money order made payable to the "City of Columbus Treasurer" is acceptable. Please, do not pay in cash.
Community Garden Helpful Resources
Water Containment System
The City of Columbus Land Bank in the summer of 2012 reached an agreement with Rebuilding Together Central Ohio to lend approved Land Bank community garden applicants a 550 gallon water containment system. The system is funded through the contributions of City Council and under the supervision of Rebuilding Together Central Ohio, the Recreation and Parks Department, and the Land Bank. The City of Columbus' Recreation and Parks Department will team with Rebuilding Together Central Ohio and the community gardeners to winterize and store the water containment systems. The water containment system provides a garden group with the following:
- One (1) 300 or 550-Gallon above ground HDPE tank and connections as follows: one ¾” hose valve/spigot installed to dispense water from tank (includes 1 ¼”X3/4” threaded nipple, 3/r” threaded ball valve, ¾” hose thread adaptor –all items brass)
- One (1) Mr. Soaker Hose Rain Barrel Soaker Hose 50’ Kit part # 193 or equal
- Drip Irrigation “Y” Sediment filter
- Solar Pump - Rain Perfect Solar Powered Rain Barrel Pump System or City approved alternative system
First, the gardeners must be a member of the Tool Library. The person or group does not need to be 501© 3. Tool Library Applications are available at the Tool Library and online at www.rtcentralohio.org and may be sumitted at the Tool Library, by Fax: (614) 252-2593, by Mail: 2771 E. 4th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43219 or by Email: Tool.Library@rtcentralohio.org. If you are already a Tool Library member, you may skip this step.
Tool Lending Library
Rebuilding Together Central Ohio also has a Tool Lending Library where over 4,500 tools are available for loan. Depending on the tool, they can be loaned for one, three, or seven days to individuals and non-profit organizations. Please visit their WEBSITE for more information and qualifications for the program.
Other Organizations in Franklin County for Community Gardens
Community Garden Grants
In the past, the City of Columbus and Franklin County have partnered with different organizations and companies to supply grant money to community gardens. In the past to qualify for a grant, the applicant must have met the following requirements:
- Registered Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an Area Commission, government agency, or have a fiscal sponsor. A fiscal sponsor may be a registered 501 (c)(3) organization or government agency that has agreed to manage a project’s awarded grant.
- Be located within the City of Columbus or qualifying areas of Franklin County.
***This year's grant application period was from February 15 - March 1, 2013.
ScottsMiracle-Gro Community Garden Academy also offers grants for community gardens. The requirements to be eligible to apply are:
- The fund welcomes applications from organizations that are recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or those that have a fiscal sponsor.
- Gardens must have a primary impact in Franklin County.
- Funding must be for a project beginning in 2013, and grant requests may not exceed $4,000.
- A portion of each grant award may be in the form of an in-kind contribution from The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.
- A PowerPhilanthropy portrait is not required for this funding.
For questions regarding the City of Columbus Land Bank Community Garden Program, please email Seth Brehm at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (614) 645-LAND (5263) for the office.