Community Gardens

Start Your Community Garden

The City of Vancouver is home to five public community gardens that provide the opportunity to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers within designated areas of some Vancouver parks. Community gardening allows you to experience the gratification of producing flowers and food for your own table, regardless of the space you have at home.

Vancouver Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Community Garden Program has a variety of plot sizes and types available at multiple garden locations. If you have questions that are not answered on this page, please contact the Community Gardens information line at 360-487-7099 or email CommunityGardens@cityofvancouver.us.

2024 Community Garden Season

Registration Schedule

  • Priority registration for returning gardeners opens on Feb. 21, 2024
  • Registration for new gardeners opens on Feb. 26, 2024

Register in-person at the Marshall Community Center, by phone at 360-487-7100 or online during the open registration period. Phone and on-line registrations must be paid for using a credit card. Initial registration is limited to one plot.

Planting Schedule

  • Gardens open for the season: mid-April
  • Gardens close for the season: early November

All dates are dependent on weather conditions. Winter weather may impact the City’s ability to prepare garden beds and may delay the start of planting. Please plan accordingly.

Plot Assignments

Plots will not be assigned or shared in advance of final staking and stringing preparation. You will see your plot assignment on site after the gardens have opened for the season. Emails and phone calls regarding plot location questions will not be returned until after all garden sites have been opened for the season. Plants installed prior to garden opening will be subject to removal at the discretion of Community Garden staff.  

Local Gardening Resources

Connect with Master Gardeners, an extension program of Washington State University, for information on how to start your garden and to learn new techniques. If you need seeds, the Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries Seed Lending Library may be a good resource.

Vancouver Community Garden Plots

Marshall Community Park Garden

1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd.

  • 50 plots – 20′ x 20′
  • 10 plots – 10′ x 10′
  • 3 raised beds – 4′ x 12′
  • 7 round raised containers

This site has access to restrooms, drinking fountains, picnic tables, benches and parking.

LeRoy Haagen Community Park Garden

E 9th St., west of NE 136th Ave.

  • 12 plots – 20′ x 20′
  • 6 plots – 10′ x 10′
  • 4 raised beds – 4′ x 12′

This site has access to restrooms, drinking fountains, picnic tables, benches and parking.

Campus Garden

Campus Dr. and 65th Ave.

  • 40 plots – 20′ x 20′

Ellsworth Road Garden

SE 10th St. and Ellsworth Rd.

  • 20 plots – 20′ x 20′

This site has access to parking.

Fruit Valley Park Garden

31st St. and Fruit Valley Rd.

  • 16 plots – 20′ x 20′
  • 2 plots – 10′ x 10′

This site has access to benches and limited parking.

Garden Plot Rates

SizeCity ResidentNon-ResidentSenior City Resident (65+)Senior Non-Resident (65+)
20×20$50$56$40$44
10×10$26$29$21$23
Raised Beds (Marshall and Haagen)$20$22$15$17
Containers (Marshall)$18$20$13$15

Community Garden Rules

Vancouver Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services strives to provide a quality Community Garden program that everyone can enjoy. The following rules have been established to ensure that City of Vancouver Community Garden sites are well-organized and safe.

General Site Use and Safety

  • Garden use is only allowed when the park is open, from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • The Community Garden program is seasonal. Sites are not open for use outside of the identified season. Any materials left at the site after the last day of the season will be declared abandoned and removed.
  • Gardens are intended for personal use only; commercial uses are not allowed.
  • Dogs must be on a leash and under your control; you must remove any pet waste.
  • Do not park or drive vehicles onto the garden site.
  • The possession of an open container and/or the consumption of intoxicating substances are prohibited.
  • Discharge of firearms, use of fireworks and/or open fires are prohibited.
  • Smoking is prohibited in the garden and anywhere on park grounds.
  • Cooperate, communicate and be considerate of other gardeners.
  • Promptly report any violations of these rules that you directly witness to 360-487-7099 or email CommunityGardens@cityofvancouver.us.
  • Immediately call 911 if you witness a crime or are concerned for your safety.
  • Gardeners who fail to follow Community Garden rules will be subject to disciplinary action, which could include forfeiture of their plot. (VMC 15.04.170).

Gardener Safety and Expectations

  • Gardeners who fail to maintain their plot will be notified via email and posting on-site. They must attend to their plot within 5 days of notice. Please ensure your contact information is updated and accurate throughout the garden season.
  • It is the gardener’s responsibility to regularly plant and maintain their plot so it does not overgrow, affecting neighboring plots.
  • Garden plots may not be expanded beyond the designated and staked plot and plots cannot be combined into a larger area.
  • Gardeners must keep paths adjacent to their plot unobstructed and free of all debris. Debris left in paths and perimeters is subject to removal.
  • The use of non-organic pesticides is prohibited.
  • Remove trash and litter from your plot. There is no garbage service on site.
  • Gardeners may compost in their own plot or in marked compost locations only. Dumping material outside of marked areas and/or anywhere in the garden or park is prohibited.
  • Wind up hoses and return to the faucet when done; do not bury hoses.
  • Plots are marked out/staked annually; exact plot locations may shift year to year.
  • Do not remove or destroy any property or planted material that does not belong to you.

Failure to comply with any of the above guidelines may result in action including but not limited to forfeiture of plot for this garden season and/or removal of priority registration for the following year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can I contact with questions about community gardens?

When can I register for a plot?

Registration typically opens in mid-February. Returning gardeners who remained in compliance during the previous season are granted priority registration a few days in advance. This webpage is updated annually with registration information.

How can I register for a plot?

Registration can be completed online, in-person at Marshall Community Center or by phone at 360-487-7100. Payment for phone and online registration must be made with a credit card.

Are the gardens open year-round?

No. The Community Garden season runs from April to November each year. The gardens are only open during that time.

How long will I have my plot?

You will have a reserved plot from the opening day of the garden season, or the day payment is received, if the gardens have already opened. Your reservation will end the last day of the season, which varies each year. The last day of the season is shared with gardeners by email and posted on-site at all gardens.

Will I get the same plot I had last year?

We try our best to accommodate requests for specific plot locations; however, we reserve the right to make adjustments as needed to serve the needs of gardeners with varying physical abilities.

Can you move my plot after it has been assigned?

No, we are unable to accommodate any changes to the layout after the garden opens.

Are any tools or other resources provided?

We provide water and water spigots at each of the garden locations. We do not provide hoses, tools or seeds.

Are gardeners allowed to use pesticides or herbicides?

No, gardeners are not permitted to use pesticides or herbicides.

Why is the garden opening late?

Every year, the City must till each garden site prior to planting. Tilling can only be performed when the soil is nearly dry so opening dates are weather dependent.

Why mulch pathways?

Only some pathways are mulched. When we have the capacity and can partner with gardeners and volunteers, we like to provide a thick layer of mulch for walking paths in the gardens. This adds to the safety, accessibility and delineation of plots throughout the garden. If you would like to spread mulch in the pathways in your garden area, please email communitygardens@cityofvancouver.us to find out how you can help.

Can I compost at the garden? If so, where can I compost?

All sites have a yard debris refuse option, though only a few sites have compost bins. Please only add organic debris to any compost locations. You may also compost your organic debris within your paid plot. If you would like more information, check out local Composter Recycler programs, Clark County Composts or Waste Connections.

How can I report a rules violation? I follow the rules but my neighbor doesn’t.

Promptly report any rule violations that you directly witness to 360-487-7099 or email communitygardens@cityofvancouver.us. If you witness a crime or are concerned for your safety, call 911.

Can I transfer my plot if I am unable to maintain it?

Transfers are considered on a case-by-case basis. Please email communitygardens@cityofvancouver.us if you would like to request a plot transfer.

Can a friend maintain my plot if I am unable to?

Yes. However, it is still your responsibility to keep the space well maintained and communicate any issues or needs that arise. Please email communitygardens@cityofvancouver.us if you need someone else to maintain your space for longer than a few weeks.

What if my contact information changes?

Please update your contact information in ActiveNet as soon as possible. We use email as the primary form of communication with all gardeners, in addition to signs posted on-site. The fastest and most efficient way for us to contact gardeners is by email and we need to have updated and accurate information in the system.

What do you do with the plots in the winter?

Our Grounds Maintenance team discs the soil and in 2023, we partnered with the Clark Conservation District to broadcast cover crop seeds in certain locations. We hope to expand these efforts to improve the soil quality in future years.