Identify the owner of your potential garden site(s).
- Figure out how much you are willing to pay in rent. Hopefully the owner will give it to you for little money. Most community garden groups lease sites from landowners for $1 per year.
- Contact your county tax assessor’s office for the owner’s contact information. (Don’t worry about whether the land is public or private—either could work for a garden.)
Write a letter to the landowner of your top site.
- Ask permission to use the property for a community garden. This is a sales job, so turn on the charm!
- In the letter, list the benefits of a garden to the community and emphasize that gardeners will keep the site clean and weed-free.
- If you’ve secured any sponsors, mention them here.
- Follow up with a phone call or stop by the house personally if you don’t get a response.
- If that owner says no, move down your list to the next option.
Write a lease,once you have a “yes” from a landowner.
- This sounds intimidating but it’s not difficult! Try to get a lease for at least three years if the landowner is willing.
Make sure to check about liability. Consider including a simple “hold harmless” waiver in the lease—and in gardener agreement forms. Or consider getting liability insurance. Work with an agent that deals with a number of the top carriers. That way you’ll get the best policy for your needs.