Community Garden Program

Program Purpose
The Rock Island Community Garden Program is intended to transform vacant city-owned properties into vibrant sites for flower and edible gardens. The program offers the following community benefits:
  • Places vacant land back into a productive use.
  • Supports the City’s goal of a creating a healthy community with access to nutritious foods.
  • Provides a source of produce for individuals with limited access to affordable, nutritious food.
  • Provides neighborhood gathering space for people of diverse backgrounds to come together around a shared interest of beautifying their community and growing their own food.
  • Provides a place to learn and share gardening knowledge with others.
  • Improves the quality of the physical environment—from stormwater management to attracting pollinators, such as bees, to urban areas.
Community Benefit Program
In addition to increasing the availability of fresh, healthy produce in our city’s neighborhoods, community gardens can have positive impacts far beyond the garden boundaries. In exchange for use of city property, gardeners have the option of creating a Community Benefit Plan for their garden site. Examples include, but are not limited to:
  • Donating a percentage of produce to a local food pantry, community center, or school.
  • Hosting work days or providing gardening classes to teach others about the benefits of gardening and growing healthy foods.
  • Establishing a neighborhood composting site to be used by neighborhood residents.
  • Creating demonstration garden sites and hosting workshops to educate the community on innovative garden practices.
  • Providing mentorship/apprenticeship opportunities.
Program Fee
Garden lots are available for rent for $50 per year. Gardeners who submit a Community Benefit Plan with their application may be eligible to have the rental fee waived.

Availability and Terms of Lease
Available garden lots will be leased on a first-come basis to qualified applicants. Garden lot leases run January 1st to December 31st. Returning gardeners in good standing (no violations) have the option to renew for a 2 or 3 year period. Longer term leases enable gardeners to invest in their leased garden sites and plan ahead for future growing seasons.

Program Documents

Community Garden Program Rules and Procedures
Community Garden Program Application