Community Gardening

The LEAF Community Gardens in Lakewood, Ohio are full for the 2020 garden season. You can fill out this form to be placed on the waiting list. LEAF will also email you before registration opens for next season.

LEAF Community is always looking for places in Lakewood to expand. So, if you know of a space that might make a good community garden, please contact us.

Explore our gardens virtually:

LEAF Community Gardens

Community Gardens Rules

1. Maintain your plot and paths. Plots and paths must be cared for regularly. If any plot appears under-attended (as determined by assigned garden leaders and/or LEAF Garden Co-Chairs) a gardener will be warned once before the plot will be reassigned. We recommend 2 to 4 hours a week as a minimum to keep up a plot and surrounding paths.

Maintenance includes (but may not be limited to):
Removing fallen produce
Not allowing weeds to go to seed or spread
Keep adjacent pathways weed and grass free
Dead and diseased plants to be removed from the garden
Plants maintained within your plot should not to extend into walkways
Proper use of stakes, cages and any other material must maintain garden aesthetics

2. Each gardener is expected to volunteer towards the general maintenance of the site as directed by the Garden Leader. Multiple opportunities will be made available throughout the gardening season.

3. Take out the trash. Any refuse collected in the garden area is to be deposited in the designated disposal area or preferably taken home. Garden trash must not be added to any park garbage receptacle.

4. Gardens must be tended to by June 1. Each gardener agrees to begin working on their gardens (clearing debris, turning soil etc.) no later than June 1st and acknowledges all gardens must be totally put to bed by Thanksgiving. Gardens must be cleared of all materials, debris and plants at the end of the season.

5. The use of water at community garden sites is strictly for the use of watering gardens. Water sites will remain clear and all water will be turned off whenever not in use. It is mandatory that all gardeners report any abuse of these procedures.
6. No non-organic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers are to be used in the LEAF community gardens.

7. Only edible plants, herbs and decorative flowers are to be planted in your LEAF garden plot. Plants that spread quickly including strawberries and horseradish must be potted. Invasive plats such as Morning Glory are not allowed. Corn and sunflowers can block sun from nearby plots and are therefore only permitted with permission from your garden leader.

8. Returning gardeners are given their old plot. Remaining plots will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis after membership fees are paid. Assignment of garden plots and all other space allocations are the responsibility of the site committee or Garden Leader. Gardeners are not permitted to make changes in assignments without prior approval of the committee.

9. Plot fees of $25.00 must be paid before gardening begins.

10. Parking will be in designated areas only. Gardeners must drive safely and be on the look out for our neighbors.

11. Practice safety. Keep tools, tool bins, community sheds and bins etc. locked and return all tools after every use.

12. Children are welcome at the garden but must be accompanied by an adult and must be supervised at all times.

13. Pets are not welcome in the immediate garden-plot area unless they are an approved service animal (please email a LEAF garden committee chair for necessary information/approval).

14. All gardeners and their guests will follow all city laws and park rules and regulations.
15. Gardening rules and regulations are subject to change/amendment at any time by the LEAF Garden Committee, Garden chairs or the LEAF board of directors. Any changes will be sent via email (or regular US mail in the case an email is not available) and will be considered received by applicable gardeners – please be sure you email your garden leader(s) of any changes/updates to your contact information!

16. New gardeners are allowed one garden plot per household. Returning gardeners with two plots are grandfathered in allowing them to have two plots per household.

A History of Lakewood's First Community Gardens

In 2008, with enthusiastic support from then Mayor; Ed FitzGerald, the Lakewood Earth & Food (LEAF) Community broke ground at Cove, Kauffman, Madison, and Webb Parks expanding the total plots of LEAF to over 150 throughout the community.

The four new sites had been carefully chosen by LEAF board members, and approved by Mayor FitzGerald, in order to appeal to and give access the gardens to a wide array of community members. A fifth site North of The Westerly Apartments was added in 2010.

Each location has a varying number of 10' x 10' plots and leaves plenty of the park area intact for continued use of baseball diamonds and playground equipment at the sites. View a map with photos of each site.

Aside from providing apartment and condo dwellers with green space and room to garden, community gardens have been shown to raise nearby property values, lower crime rates in adjacent areas, and provide hours of enjoyment to those who work them. They provide physical activity, camaraderie with neighbors, stress relief, and have been shown to contribute to overall wellness. Gardening is a great platform for inter-generational bonding, provides a wholesome (and fun) activity for the whole family, teaches children where food comes from, and improves the nutrition of those who participate. Growing vegetables in community gardens can help offset rising food prices and bring the community together in the process.

In the past several years, LEAF gardeners have also taken part in the bartering system available at each LEAF Night throughout the season (all gardeners are welcome to participate) and in this manner have also contributed to the donations LEAF makes every week to local charities that help alleviate hunger in our community.