SFRPD supports and manages 42 (and growing!) Community Gardens located across the City where garden volunteers can grow produce and ornamental plants for personal use. There are several ways to participate in one of our Community Gardens.
Individual plots allotted via a wait-list system: Some community gardens are composed entirely of plots allotted to individuals with some common areas for shared perennial herbs, native plants and fruit trees. These gardens may have regularly scheduled workdays, self-imposed annual dues to purchase shared garden tools and equipment, and either an individual volunteer garden coordinator or a steering committee that manages membership, workday plans, and plot assignments. This is the most common type of community garden experience. Individuals can request to be placed on the wait list for a specific garden.
Due to high interest in community gardening, you must be a resident of San Francisco to be allocated a plot. Once a plot is available, the volunteer garden coordinator will contact the next name on the wait list to offer a plot. Some gardens have very little turnover and the wait can be considerable. You are welcome to add your name to several garden wait lists but please consider travel time, parking, and access to public transportation.
When a plot becomes available, the garden coordinator will conduct a new member orientation that will include garden access, member agreements, collection of dues (when indicated), and garden practices around composting, invasive plants, water use, and waste removal. Orientation will also include introductions to current garden volunteers who can serve as mentors while you learn to garden in your new space.
Communal Gardens: These gardens, including Alemany Farm, In Chan Kaajal, and Corwin Street, invite volunteers to participate in a shared garden experience and harvesting system. Drop-in workdays are regularly scheduled and allow individuals, families and groups to participate in garden activities including planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting. The harvest collected at each workday is then shared fairly among the day’s participants. In some cases, produce is shared within the larger community to combat food insecurity. These gardens also have special events throughout the year that bring people together to share traditions, recipes, and a love of gardening. There is no wait list for these gardens.
Educational Gardens: Community gardens including Adam Rogers and Jackson Playground offer unique programming for youth, run by our non-profit partners. In some cases, just a few plots are set aside for this use, while the rest of the garden offers individual plots for personal use. However, a few of our gardens are fully dedicated to youth but may welcome occasional or ongoing volunteer support.
Volunteer Opportunities and Community Service: Do you work for a company that schedules volunteer opportunities? Or are you involved in an organization that provides community service? We can help you find one-time group volunteer placements in our Community Gardens. Contact our Volunteer Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re already actively gardening in one of our Community Gardens or at home but would like to learn more, find resources and supplies, or attend a class or workshop, visit our Urban Ag Resource page here.