Gardens Network Resources

The Gardens Network provides targeted and efficient training, technical support, operational support, and services to gardens throughout Dane County.   Our mission is to connect people in Dane County with access to the space, education, and resources to create and sustain gardens that foster food, engagement, and opportunity. We envision diverse, productive, self-sustaining gardens that have strong leadership and communities connected by a shared purpose, by a sense of belonging, and by a deep socio-cultural understanding.

An annual contribution of 10% of plot fees is required from all gardens.  These grants support the Garden Enhancement micro-grants and other garden services.  Garden fees can be sent to Community GroundWorks at 2702 International Lane, Suite 200.


Garden Management 101

A community garden is a wonderful resource, but it requires some work and commitment to create and maintain. Community gardens function best when volunteers collaborate to coordinate the garden. These resources have been developed to help volunteer community garden leaders manage their gardens.

Click on each title to download a PDF copy.


Communication Resources


Starting a Garden

Resources for those interested in starting a community garden.


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)

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)

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)
  • 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)
  • Volunteer Team Descriptions: Troy (PDF)

Gardens Network Summit Materials

Please see our Summit Materials page for a list of resources from our annual Gardens Network Summit.


Garden Enhancement Grant

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

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