The Rules & Agreement ensure that the community gardens are maintained as vibrant, shared green spaces within the City of Richmond. Urban Bounty and garden plot users are required to agree to, and to honor these rules and agreements in exchange for the privilege of gardening on public land.
Urban Bounty reserves the right to make exceptions to these rules in extenuating or justified circumstances. For a full description of guidelines and to understand their application and interpretation, please see Appendix A and B.
2023 Important Dates
- January 5th to March 1st: Renewal Period – plot fees are due and plots must be renewed every year in January
- May 1st: Gardens must be ready to be planted – areas around the bed and in the bed have been weeded and the soil is ready.
- Mid-May: Spring Reviews
- 1st Round – May 16 – 20
- 2nd Round – June 6 – 10
- Early August: Summer Reviews
- 1st Round – August 8 – 12
- 2nd Round – September 5 – 9
- November 1st: Last day to have your garden bed cleaned and ready for the winter. A clean garden bed can include cover crops, mulch, perennials, and overwintering plants.
- Early November: Fall Reviews
- 1st Round – November 1 – 8
- 2nd Round – November 21 – 26
- December 1st: End of Year Survey
Garden Plot Reviews
Garden reviews are conducted 3 times a year, as noted above, to maintain the appeal and neatness of the gardens; to foresee, address and prevent any safety issues; and to deter the proliferation of pest habitat due to cluttering. During reviews, Urban Bounty staff will visit each site, and thoroughly assess the condition of each plot to ensure plot users are following the mandates outlined in our Rules and Agreements.
Here is a key summary of what is needed to pass a review:
- Plot and pathways are free of weeds
- Plot has been planted and is being actively used
- Structures do not exceed 6 feet 10 inches and do not cover more than 30% of the plot
- Fence does not exceed 4 feet, no locks on fences
- No planted trees, raspberries, Jerusalem artichokes, blackberries, non-edible shrubs or invasive species according to provincial regulations
- Gardening and non gardening materials are not placed or stored within the pathways, in common areas or on trellises
- Surface of plots and surrounding perimeter are not covered with plastic mulch
- Structures are properly built and safely maintained if deteriorating
- Garden green waste is properly composted
- No garbage in plot and surrounding area
- No treated or painted lumber within and around the plot
Garden Plot Violations
In case of a violation, these are the steps Urban Bounty staff will follow:
- The first notice will be a written email notice with explanation.
- Plot holders will be given 14 days to correct the identified issue(s).
- Follow-up reviews will be conducted on plot(s) that had a previous violation to ensure that the identified issues were corrected.
- If there are no significant changes to the issues identified, you will receive a second notice via email with a date that your plot rental is cancelled and you must forfeit your plot.
Our intention with this process is to ensure that people gardening at the community gardens are using the land to grow food for themselves and their families. If a plot is not being utilized we want to give another community member the opportunity to garden.
Has your situation changed?
We understand that circumstances change throughout the growing season and if something has come up please let us know by contacting the Urban Agriculture staff to explain your specific situation. We can often find resources to help!
Garden plot renewals happen every year in January. Current community gardeners who are in good standing (no overdue garden rule violations) will always have the opportunity to renew the same garden plot for the following season.
Garden Plot Transfers
Current plot users can request to transfer to a different plot or garden site. We will try to accommodate requests when a plot becomes vacant at the chosen site during the renewal period. Plot users on the transfer list are prioritized and will be offered an available plot before it is offered to an individual on the community garden waitlist. Your current plot must be vacant and empty within 1 week of transferring to another plot.
Transfer plot offers are only offered once and can only be requested for one site or plot. If plot users would like to transfer again, they have the option for applying for the waitlist.
If you are a current gardener and would like to transfer to a different plot, please fill out this form.
Cover Crop Programs
Modern life is certainly busy and can take time away from gardening. To support our gardeners, Urban Bounty has created two new cover crops programs that will help gardeners comply with our Rules and Agreement: the Cover Crops Relief Program and the Spring and Fall Cover Crops Program. These programs will introduce new gardening practices to improve soil health, reduce the establishment of weeds and increase productivity.
The subsidy program is only available to current gardeners seeking to renew plots. The purpose of the program is to make it equal to everyone in our communities by lowering the financial burden for members to grow healthy and nutritious food. We aim to subsidize 5% of total plots in the program for individuals and community organizations. This means we offer a limited number of subsidies per site. While attempting to accommodate all subsidy requests, we reserve the right to limit the number of subsidies provided. The application is open from January 5th to January 15th. Applicants that are approved for a subsidy will be notified by email before the renewal period ends.
Subsidy applications for individuals are approved for 2 years only. Fill out this form requesting an annual subsidized rate of 50%. We trust that plot users will only request a subsidy if they need it.
If applicants would like to apply for a 3rd year in the program in 2024 it will be reviewed on a case by case basis. The subsidy would be capped at 25%, and will not be renewable.
This allows others in need to be able to benefit from a limited resource and creates a system that is fair and equitable. Once approved for a subsidy, applicants will be provided with payment instructions.
Subsidy applications for Community Organizations are approved for the duration of their programs. Please reach out to email@example.com in order to apply for a 100% subsidy.
Note: Forms can be filled out electronically from the link or we will have printed copies available in our office, please call before your visit to book an appointment.
We also appreciate donations from other gardeners or the public to help cover these costs!