Minneapolis Garden Lease Program

The City of Minneapolis invites applications to lease available vacant City-owned lots for community gardens and market gardens through February 9, 2018.
The Garden Lease Program Map shows which lots are currently available and leased. The garden lease process provides information on the application process and what you will need to complete for each phase of the process. Once offered a lease, all gardens must submit a draft site plan before a lease will be processed. View a sample site plan. All gardens must comply with the Pollinator Friendly City Policy. Soil tests are currently in process for any lot that has not yet been tested. If you are interested in applying for a new lot, please complete and submit a garden request form. For questions or to renew an existing lease, contact Phil Binns at [email protected] or 612-673-5245.

New in 2018, the City is partnering with the Minnesota State Horticultural Society's Garden in a Box program to offer a limited supply of vegetable garden kits, with priority given to gardens on lots requiring raised beds. Support for the Garden in a Box opportunity is provided through the Minneapolis Health Department and State Health Improvement Partnership of the Minnesota Department of Health. A separate application will be required to participate.
The City of Minneapolis offers free and reduced price compost through an additional application, while supply lasts. The 2018 compost application will be available on February 1 and is due by April 20 for spring compost deliveries. http://www.minneapolismn.gov/solid-waste/cleancity/community-garden-compost-program

Garden     Administrative FeeLease FeeSecurity DepositTotal Annual FeeLiability Insurance Coverage
Community Garden$50$1$0$51$1 million
Market Garden or Urban Farm$50$150$0$200$2 million

Map of Community Gardens and Market Gardens

The Garden Lease Program Map shows vacant City-owned parcels that are currently available and leased for community gardens and market gardens. All lots have had soil tests conducted. Lots with soil tests showing toxins above accepted levels will be required to use raised beds for gardens.

Green icons indicate parcels currently available for lease. Orange icons indicate parcels currently leased and are not available at this time.
Click each icon for additional information about each parcel.

View the interactive Garden Lease Program Map.


For City-owned vacant land to be considered for lease as a community garden or market garden, it must meet one of the following criteria.
It will be made available with the associated lease term.



 Lease Term2

Category A

Properties with conditions that pose marketing challenges (i.e. north/south facing lots, on high vehicular traffic corridors, adjacent to identified problem properties, etc.).

1 Year

Category B

Properties slated for Multifamily Housing or Business Development projects that are NOT needed for site assemblage OR being actively marketed for redevelopment OR subject to a pending sale OR have exclusive development rights.

1 Year

Category C

Undersized Properties that are 4,000 square feet or less and not adjacent to a city-owned property.

3 Years3

Category D

Undevelopable Properties with issues, including lack of public utilities, challenging public utilities (e.g., cross sewer connection), challenging soils, challenging topography, irregularly shaped or has less than a 35 foot frontage and no alley access.

5 Years3

Category E

Parcels owned by Public Works Department. Public Works reserves the right to monitor these parcels to ensure that garden activities don't impede the Public Works-related function that they serve.

5 Years4
Category F

Parcels owned by Public Works Department, being piloted for gardening. Public Works reserves the right to monitor these parcels to ensure that garden activities don't impede the Public Works-related function that they serve.

1 Year, with potential to expand to 5 years4

1A property could fit more than one category.
2 Each new garden lease will be for one year and evaluated for a renewal based on the Lease Term in the table above. Subsequent renewal will be considered on a maximum term as illustrated in the table above. Community gardens are prioritized over commercial gardens.
3 After identified side yard sale strategies are pursued, these properties may be considered for sale as a permanent community garden pursuant to the City of Minneapolis Real Estate Disposition Policy. The side yard sale strategies are to offer the properties for side yard sale to the owners of the adjacent properties, if the adjacent propert(ies) are not larger than the average parcel on the block; if no interest, lease until adjacent owners express interest to purchase or there is a change in ownership, or, consider for sale as a permanent community garden.
4 If garden activity impedes a parcel from serving its Public Works related function, the City may need to curtail garden activity on that parcel.