Resources for Garden Coordinators

Garden Enhancement Grant 
Please visit our Micro-grant Program page for more information.

2017 Spring Registration and Welcome Packet
The end of winter is in sight and it’s time to start thinking about growing! These documents are designed to help leaders organize their gardens for the upcoming season.

  • Potential New Gardener Letter (Doc)
  • Registration Form (English Doc, Spanish Doc)
  • Garden Plot Fee Chart (English PDF, Spanish PDF)
  • Half-Mile Radius Garden Maps
  • Demographic Form (English Doc, Spanish Doc)
    • Please mail or drop off completed printed demographics forms (or a compilation of your data) to:
      Community GroundWorks
      Attn: Shelly Strom
      3601 Memorial Drive, Suite 4
      Madison, WI 53704

This is a set of materials which can be handed out to gardeners at Spring Registration. Select from these materials to create a packet for your garden, and change the information as needed to match your garden’s operations. To eliminate wasted space and save paper, you may wish to cut and paste information from multiple documents into a single document. You may also wish to include some of the resources For Gardeners, or provide a web address so gardeners know where to access them.

  • Community Garden Rules (Doc)
  • Community Garden Security (Doc)
  • Volunteer Opportunities (Doc)
  • Welcome Packet Cover Letter (Doc)

Also, visit the Community Gardens Materials and Services page.

Join the Gardens Network
As a garden leader, do you feel like you’re carrying all the weight on your shoulder? Are you scrambling to find resources and constantly frustrated because you’re being sent in circles whenever you have any questions? Then become a member of the Gardens Network!

Garden Lease and Liability Insurance
Gardens with Lease and Liability through the Gardens Network need to sign the Gardens Network Lease and Liability Agreement  and return it to Community GroundWorks with their annual lease and liability payment. Not sure you have lease/liability or have questions? Email us at

Getting Started
A community garden is a wonderful resource, but it requires quite a bit of work and commitment to create and maintain. Whether you’re interested in starting a new community garden in your neighborhood, or it’s the start of a new community gardening season and you want a refresher, these resources can help guide you through. If you’re interested in getting involved with an existing community garden, Find a Garden Near You.

From the work of many volunteers, each according to their ability, community gardens in Madison and throughout Dane County survive and thrive. Everyone is expected to participate, as many hands make light work, but a community garden requires ongoing support to run well. Community gardens function best when volunteers step up to fill leadership roles.

These resources have been developed to help volunteer community garden leaders manage their gardens. Documents provided in .doc formats are editable, so you may change them for your purposes.

*NOTE: As gardening organizations evolve and resources change (here and across the country), some of these resources may seem out of date; we will continue to hone these materials, however, there is still a lot of great information below! If you have questions, please contact us at

  • CAC’s New Garden Guide: Starting and Growing a Community Garden (PDF)
  • Community Gardens: Where People and Plants Come Together (PDF)
  • Got Dirt? Garden Toolkit (PDF)
  • Opening Day and Closing Day (PDF/Doc)
  • Planning Your Community Garden Year (PDF/Doc)
  • Starting a Community Garden (PDF)
  • Suggested Garden Volunteer Positions (PDF)
  • Toolkit for Quantifying Your Garden’s Impact (PDF)
  • Best Practices to Deter Vandalism and Theft (Doc)

Special Needs Resources
The individuals, families, and households with plots in Madison’s community gardens are a diverse group. Those with physical and other challenges can participate in the valuable and satisfying act of gardening if gardens are designed inclusively. When designing a new garden, or making improvements to an existing garden, these resources provide thoughtful suggestions.

  • Accessible Raised Beds (PDF)
  • Universal Design for Community Gardens (PDF/Doc)

Sample Documents
These documents were created by individual gardens for various purposes, and have been shared here with you to provide guidance and inspiration. You may edit them for your purposes.

  • Expectations & Information: Saint Paul (Doc)
  • Invitation To Garden Flyer: Marlborough Park (Doc)
  • Neighborhood Outreach Article: Quann (Doc)
  • Plot Assignment Criteria: Quann (Doc)
  • Potential New Gardener Letter: Generic (Doc)
  • Registration Day Postcard: Gammon (Doc)
  • Sign To Discourage Theft: Quann  (Doc)
  • Plot Monitoring Guidelines: Eagle Heights (PDF) & Troy (PDF)
  • Garden Map: McFarland (PDF)
  • Handbook: McFarland (PDF)
  • Helping Hand Signs: McFarland (PDF)
  • Incident Reports: McFarland (PDF)
  • Plot Management: McFarland (PDF)
  • Garden Plot Application: Troy (PDF)
  • Plot Status Guidelines for Gardeners: Troy (PDF)
  • Pre-drafted Email Reference List for Plot Monitors: Troy (PDF)
  • Spring Registration Post Card: Troy (PDF)
  • Subcommittee Description: Troy (PDF)

Leadership and Facilitation
Providing effective leadership takes practice and can be extremely challenging, yet rewarding. These resources may give you some food for thought.

  • Constructive Conflict (PDF)
  • Facilitating Meetings (PDF)
  • The Many Faces of Leadership (PDF)
  • Volunteer Program Checklist (PDF)