Starting a Garden

Want to build a community garden in your neighborhood? 
Let us help you get started.

design-startingIf you live in Anacortes, the Anacortes Community Gardens program can work with your team of volunteers to investigate and develop a new garden. We plan to help develop more gardens in Anacortes and are looking to work with neighborhoods that can organize a committee of volunteers to lead the charge and organize the work.  There are many details to be planned and carried out, so be realistic about the support you’ll need to make it happen.  If you’re outside of Anacortes check our “Resources” page for a variety of helpful references.

We have experienced mentors available to provide advice and meet with your committee, but will be looking at your team of volunteers to take the lead on the planning and organizing your neighborhood garden.  The City Parks staff can provide some support to your efforts but this must be agreed to in advance and planned around their normally scheduled workload.

You’ll have a number of choices and considerations to think about

  • How many plots will be included in the garden and what size?
  • Will you till or use a no-till method to develop the garden area?
  • Will you need onsite storage (a shed)?
  • These questions …and many more.

starting_a-garden1How to get started

The first step is to contact the Anacortes Community Gardens Advisory Committee via our Contacts page or call the City Parks & Recreation Department.  We can help identify potential sites on City land that might be available to develop a community garden.  At present, we are only building new gardens on City property due to insurance and liability considerations.  If you want to site a garden on property that does not belong to the City, we can help you by providing recommendations and references to help you develop your plans and add your members to our information network for garden news.  We suggest you follow these steps:

  • Contact the Anacortes Community Gardens Advisory Committee and we will provide you with contacts who can consult with you.  You can also call Jonn Lunsford at the Anacortes Parks office at 299-1953 to discuss your interest.
  • Schedule a tour of the 29th Street Community Garden and find out what it took to build the garden there.  Members of their garden committee will be happy to talk with you.
  • Canvas your neighbors and determine the level of interest in gardening in a neighborhood community garden and if there are volunteers willing to help organize and build it.
  • Form a garden committee and work with your Advisory Committee contacts on developing a plan and schedule for building your neighborhood garden.  Look for committee members with a diversity of expertise on planning, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, construction, and gardening.  
  • Meet with the Anacortes Community Advisory Committee to review your draft plans early in the process and determine what assistance we can provide you in developing your neighborhood garden.
  • Determine what materials you’ll need, how much they will cost, and develop a budget and fundraising strategy.
  • Work with the Advisory Committee to develop a “marketing strategy” to get the word out and solicit support and potential gardeners for your new garden.  Potential gardeners are a good source of volunteers for your work parties.
  • Once you have the site, money, materials, and volunteers you’re ready to work with the Parks Department to start building the garden.
  • Organize volunteer work parties and provide plenty of refreshments.
  • You’ll need to work with the Advisory Committee to review our rules and applications and customize as needed for your new garden.  
  • Once the garden nears completion start publicizing availability of plots and distributing applications.  We can help you with your advertising campaign.
  • Open the garden for planting by the new gardeners.
  • Plan for a “Grand Opening” ribbon cutting with City officials and host an open house for the community to celebrate with you.  The Advisory Committee can help you with event planning and scheduling.
  • Enjoy your new neighborhood garden and don’t forget to share your harvest with our local food banks.