Whether you live in an apartment or condominium or have a yard that just won't support plantings, our Community Garden program provides a wonderful opportunity to let your garden grow!
WHAT IS A COMMUNITY GARDEN?
Parks and Recreation has individual pieces of land, called community gardens, across the city that are cultivated collectively by a group of people primarily for the purpose of growing flowers and vegetables. These community gardens provide a unique but valuable recreational activity that contribute to the health and well-being of a community and that can provide a wide range of environmental, social and educational benefits.
GARDENS IN OUR PARKS
Community gardens bring positive activity to the parks. They provide a forum for neighbors to join together and forge strong community bonds. They are a source of fresh, affordable, local produce - some of which is donated to the community and used in our nutritional cooking programs. Gardens are also a fantastic learning tool for children. Most kids have a natural love of gardening, and their enthusiasm often spills over into the school subjects that may be related to the garden (i.e. math, science etc.).
City residents are given the opportunity to lease garden plots. By leasing plots, residents are afforded the opportunity to participate in a positive gardening experience through educational programs which focus on practical gardening techniques appropriate for the six growing seasons in our region. The City of Columbia provides water for all community gardens located on City owned and operated land.
Three of our community garden sites have plots available for annual leasing: NOMA, Hyatt Park and Granby Park. The annual plot fee includes the use of a raised bed and a water source. Fees must be paid at the time of registration, and plots will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
Plots are limited to one per family unit. Download, review and sign the Community Garden Rules and Regulations, Land Release Form, and Community Garden Application, or contact Parks and Recreation by phone at 803-545-3100, for an application and more information on garden plots. Applications should be mailed, delivered or faxed to: Columbia Parks & Recreation Department, 1111 Parkside Dr., Columbia, SC 29203; fax: 803-343-8744.
Parks and Recreation manages community gardens at several recreation centers. Below is a list of our educational and community garden sites:
Ben Arnold , 100 South Holly Street
Ensor Forest, 4520 Monticello Road (Garden and Greenhouse)
Granby Park, 100 Catawba Street
Hampton Park, 1117 Brandon Avenue
Hyatt Park, 950 Jackson Avenue
Lorick Park, 1600 Lorick Ave
Lyon St. Community, 1207 McDuffie Street
Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 2300 Greene Street
Melrose Park, 1500 Fairview Drive
NOMA (North Main), Earlewood Park, 2700 River Drive
Owens Field Park, 1351 Jim Hamilton Blvd.
Pacific Park, 200 Wayne Street
Pinehurst Park, 2300 Pinehurst Road
Sims Park, 3500 Duncan Street
South Edisto Park, 1915 Wiley Street
St. Anna's Park, 1310 Lyon Street
Woodland Park, 6500 Olde Knight Parkway
Columbia Parks & Recreation Department to Offer Free Gardening Workshop Series
The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department has partnered with the Clemson Cooperative Extension to host a series of gardening workshops designed to give participants the tools needed to start and maintain a healthy garden.
The free workshops are open to beginner and experienced gardeners.
All workshops will be held at 10 a.m. at the Earlewood Park Community Center located at 1113 Parkside Drive on the following Saturdays:
Gardening Workshop Schedule
April 15 – Topic: Soil and Fertilizer Basics
Learn how to improve your soil’s health, how to take and interpret a soil sample**, how to create a fertile organic garden, composting and more. *Free Giveaway-(5 Compost thermometers) **A horticulture agent will be on hand to interpret results of your soil samples.
May 20 – Topic: Everything Tomato
Learn how to grow tomatoes, herbs, and more! This session will include a Spaghetti Container Garden Demo (tomato, spaghetti squash and herbs etc.) *Free Giveaway- 1 spaghetti container garden
June 17 – Topic: Integrated Pest Management (IPM): A Sustainable Method of Controlling Pest and Diseases in the Garden
This session will explore best practices for maintaining a healthy garden. We will cover a variety of techniques that reduce weed pressure, limit plant diseases and control insects in the garden, as well as explore organic options for pest management.
August 26 – Topic: What Vegetables Grow in Fall & Winter in South Carolina
Find out what vegetables can be grow in the fall and winter months in South Carolina.
September 16 – Topic: Incorporating Fruit in Your Garden
Learn how to incorporate fruits, vegetables and herbs into the landscaping around your home.
October 21 – Topic: Canning & Preserving
Learn how know to start canning at home with step-by-step instructions and demonstration.
November 18 – Topic: Starting Seeds
Discover the four critical elements of starting seeds (water, temperature, soil and light) and why you should start your seeds indoors.
For more information, please call the Parks and Recreation Department at 803-545-3100.
Parks & Recreation Department | 1111 Parkside Drive, Columbia, SC 29203
P: 803-545-3100| F: 803-343-8744