Come grow with us!

Leasing

Most of Calgary's community gardens are built on public land under a Licence of Occupation (LOC) from City of Calgary or on private land owned by a philanthropist, condominium or housing co-op association, faith-based group or other non-profit organization.

Public land under License of Occupation (LOC)

Community gardens on City of Calgary Parks land leased to a community association usually have the easiest time getting approved. If the site you are considering is municipal land used by a community association it is likely under a License of Occupation (LOC).  A License of Occupation is a lease granted to community-based organizations such as a community association to make public land available for recreational programs for residents.

City of Calgary Parks approval is required for the development of community gardens on LOC land. To obtain approvals, call 3-1-1 and speak to the Parks Community Stategist (PCS) for your neighbourhood. Your PCS will be familiar with municipal land leases and will work with you to determine the status of municipal land and  help arrange for a lease amendment if one is needed.  

A standard LOC lease for a community association lasts 15 years and costs $10 a year, with utilities negotiated separately. Most LOC's contain a clause that states that in the event that the group dissolves they have to return the land to the state it was in before they acquired it.  For a community garden, this often means removing raised beds, fencing and any other structures and then re-sodding the site.  

Private Land

Private land is controlled by a single person or group such as a faith-based community, registered non-profit society, business, or condominium corporation or individual.

To explore leasing privately-owned land, schedule a meeting with the owner to discuss the use of the land as a community garden.  Work out mutually agreeable terms of use and prepare a document that both the landowner and garden team sign.

Private Gardens

Some community gardens, such as those run by condominiums or housing co-operatives, will actually be private gardens on private property.  In these unique cases, the process is still similar.

We suggest you consult the condominium's  or co-op's board of directors and request permission to contact all owners about a general meeting to determine the level of interest in a community garden.

Note that in most cases the garden team will need to prepare a fundraising plan, as the private nature of these gardens will likely mean traditional funding from foundations is not available.  

Learn More From Existing Private Gardens´╗┐

If you're considering a public community garden on private land, we suggest you chat with some of the organizers at these thriving gardens on private land.  You can find more information on each of these gardens in our community garden database.

  • Bow Bottom Community Garden (Deer Park United Church) SE
  • Bowness Railway Community Garden (private philanthropist working with Calgary United Way) NW
  • Glenbrook Green Thumbs (Emmanuel Christian Reformed Church) SW
  • McClure Fellowship of Gardeners (Robert McClure United Church) NE
  • St. Barnabus Community Garden (St. Barnabus Anglican Church) NW
  • Rockyview Alliance Community Garden (Rockyview Alliance Church) NE
  • Unitarian Church Community Garden (Unitarian Church of Calgary) NW
  • West Springs Community Garden (West Springs Free Methodist Church) SW