Even as the city's plows are out clearing the streets amid the sixth snow emergency of the year, Minneapolis is looking forward to greener days by encouraging groups to get a garden this spring.
Snow may still be piling up on the sides of city streets, but seed catalogues are starting to hit mailboxes and officials say many vacant lots are available to groups that want to establish community gardens.
BY THE NUMBERS:
3 - Lots available for multiple-year leases
13 - Lots already leased to community groups
29 - Properties in north Minneapolis available for one-year leases
200 -- Community gardens already established
The city's Community Garden Program began in 2010 and intends to make Minneapolis a more beautiful city while providing both a healthy food source and an opportunity for community involvement.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Lots are available on a first-come, first-served basis to qualifying groups. Experienced gardeners may be eligible for 3-year to 5-year leases on a lot that is not suitable for future building, but first-time gardening groups must start with a one-year lease.
Only not-for-profit groups or groups with a not-for-profit sponsor may apply for a lease. Additionally, groups will be required to maintain liability insurance.
During the application process, applicants will discuss layout, management and community engagement with city staff.
More information can be found online or by calling the Homegrown Minneapolis Community Gardens Program at 612-673-5051.