Read the Community Gardening Rules

Learn more about our rules and regulations.

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Posted: August 31st, 2018 3:44 PM

Last Updated: October 30th, 2023 10:16 AM

Active Participation

You must commit to a minimum of 20 hours per year for the management, maintenance, and upkeep of the community garden outside of your individual plot. This may include pulling weeds in the main pathways, cleaning up common spaces, organizing the toolbox, and other activities that maintain the upkeep of the garden for everyone. Do your part.

Further, you must attend garden workdays and meetings, following the direction of your site coordinator(s), who are the individuals appointed by
the City to represent the best interests of each individual garden. You will be provided information about your site coordinator(s) and the job needs at your specific garden.

If you absolutely cannot make a garden workday or meeting arranged by your site coordinator(s), you must communicate with them directly to arrange a work schedule that benefits the garden as a whole, outside of your individual plot.

Parks & Recreation reserves the right to cancel your membership and re-assign your plot if you are not actively participating as it has just been described. A warning giving 30 days notice will be mailed to your address on file prior to this type of cancellation.

Extended Absences and Reassignments of Plot

Due to the demand of our program, failure to actively participate as defined herein for a period of time lasting beyond 1 month will result in the reassignment of your plot. You must notify your site coordinator(s) that you will be away prior to the month’s absence. Your name could then be added to our waiting lists if desired. Also, please note that garden plots cannot be passed on to family members, friends, housemates, or anyone of your
choosing once you have finished using it. The next person on the waiting list at your garden will always be offered the vacated plot.

Plot Assignment

Each gardener is assigned to one plot. If the space proves too large to handle, the OPR Community Gardens Coordinator can divide the area to accommodate an additional gardener. No gardener can have a space in more than one garden.

Garden Maintenance

You must take care of your garden plot, including all the adjacent pathway
space around it. Letting weeds grow untouched and then go to seed in the garden is not an option, and will result in plot cancellation. Many “winter crop” vegetables thrive in Oakland’s climate from October through April. Garden maintenance is therefore a year round requirement and plots should be replanted with a winter or cover crop, amended with compost, or covered
with mulch by November 15th. Lastly, due to the sensitivity of old irrigation pipes running throughout our parks – no use of stakes are permitted below ground level.

Practice Safety First

Please lock the gate when leaving your garden (remember to always
conjoin the combo lock to the City padlock so that City staff may enter when irrigation, fencing, or other repair is needed). Equally important, please be sure to lock the toolbox or tool shed. All tools should be used cautiously and cleaned after usage. When something needs to be replaced or repaired, please contact the OPR Community Gardens Program Coordinator, and consider volunteering to help. Per Oakland Parks policy: no dogs, no growing of cannabis
(marijuana) or jimson weed (aka “locoweed”), Atropa belladonna (aka “Deadly Nightshade”), no use of power tools without pre-authorization, no open flame cooking or barbeque-ing, nor burning of weeds are permitted in the community gardens. Further, the use of plastic groundcovers, plywood, or painted or treated lumber is not permitted.

Closely Supervise Children

Please supervise all children closely, and confirm that we have
received a waiver form signed by their parents (need a Waiver form? Call 238.2197). Also understand that the adult present is the one responsible for their safety. Demonstrate tool safety and give each child adequate space and instruction when they use a shovel, rake, hoe or trowel. Make sure they are respecting the space around them and are responsibly using all materials.

Organic = Composting

No artificial fertilizers or chemical insecticides / pesticides, herbicides, or
fungicides of any kind may be used on your soil. Feed your soil at least quarterly with organic compost, and monitor how much you water and when. Each garden member is responsible for the maintenance of the compost area. Please contact the Community Gardening Program Coordinator for more information on composting.

Respect Your Neighbors

Members agree to respect other gardeners’ efforts and not trespass onto their plots. Do not harvest or water other plots unless you have been asked to do so by another gardener.

Follow Harvest Guidelines

Should you have too much produce, please share the harvest with a
neighbor, friend, or call Oakland Potluck at 510-272-0414. Letting it go to waste is not an option. The sale of produce grown on public property for personal gain is prohibited by law.

Contact Us With Questions

The Community Gardening Program is committed to providing the best services possible. If you have suggestions or questions, email or call us.

Annual Dues (Calendar Year)

Membership cost is a non-refundable annual fee of $30.00. Non-residents of the
city of Oakland must pay an additional non-refundable fee of $10.00. Renewals are due by December 31st. On January 1st, a $10.00 late fee will be added to the membership fee.

If City of Oakland has not received your membership renewal by January 15th,
your garden plot will be reassigned to the next person on the waiting list.
Preference will always be given to Oakland residents on the waiting list.