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Community Gardens

There are three community gardens operated by Bellingham Parks & Recreation.  The gardens contain a total of 195 plots.  Community garden plots measure 10 feet by 20 feet.  Water service, compost bins, rock bins and bulletin boards for gardening information are provided. Happy Valley and Fairhaven Gardens' have gardener-lead committees to help facilitate responsible gardening and contribute to an overall sense of community within the gardens.  

Happy Valley and Fairhaven are year-round, organic gardens.  Organic gardening is defined by the attempt to work in harmony with nature to produce healthy crops.  One of the keys of organic gardening is to build a healthy soil ecosystem through the incorporation of compost, manure, cover crops and rock minerals.  Therefore, no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are allowed in these gardens.  Although not prohibited at the seasonal garden site, minimal use of synthetic chemicals is encouraged and must comply with state and federal laws pertaining to the use of pesticides/herbicides on public land.

Locations

Happy Valley Garden

  • Located on 32nd Street between Taylor Avenue and Donovan Avenue
  • Year-round (January-December) organic garden
  • Roto-tilling is the responsibility of the gardener

Fairhaven Garden

  • Located at 10th Street and Wilson Avenue
  • Year-round (January-December) organic garden
  • Roto-tilling is the responsibility of the gardener

Lakeway Garden

  • Located at Lakeway Drive and Woburn Street
  • Seasonal (May 1-October 31) non-organic garden
  • Parks staff will do pre-season/post-season roto-tilling

Cost

$40 per plot for the season, effective 2018.

Use fees for community garden plots are established each year, and will not be pro-rated at any time.

Registration

Returning gardeners may register for their same garden plots each year by October 31.  Anyone wanting new, different or additional plots can register on a first-come, first-served basis as of November 1 each year.

A gardener/household may rent up to four plots.  There is a limit of two plots per household at the Fairhaven Garden site.  If there are vacant plots after May 15, additional plots may be reserved for the current year's growing season only.

Contact the Parks & Recreation Main Office at (360) 778-7000 to check plot availability and to register.  Payment must be made in full to reserve a community garden plot.

Refunds

 Refunds for the community gardens will be given as follows:

  • Cancellations made prior to May 1 will receive a full refund.
  • Cancellations made on or after May 1 are not eligible for a refund.

Rules and Responsibilities

If gardeners do not abide by the community garden rules, Bellingham Parks and Recreation reserves the right to terminate the license of the offending user and reassign the plot(s).  Before reassigning plots, the negligent gardeners will be contacted by Bellingham Parks and Recreation.  They will be given seven days to resolve any violations.  If, at the end of this time period the violations continue, the user's rights to the garden plot(s) will be terminated.  It is the responsibility of each gardener to update their contact information (address, email address, phone number) as needed.  If the Parks Department is unable to contact the gardener, the Department will have the authority to terminate rights to any poorly maintained plot(s) without notification.

  • Community gardens are for private citizen use only; they cannot be used for commercial production.
  • Keep your garden weed-free so it will look neat and attractive and prevent weeds from spreading to other sites.
  • Aisles and perimeters of all gardens are maintained by Parks staff.  Empty or unkempt plots will be mowed to a level which minimizes the spreading of weeds.
  • Place all weeds removed from the garden for discard in the designated weed area.
  • Place all useable compost in the designated compost area.  This is limited to garden cuttings and fruits and vegetables from the gardens.  The composting areas are not provided for household or yard waste generated by gardeners or surrounding property owners.
  • Gardeners who choose to do individual composting must keep their compost bins, piles, etc. completely within their own reserved garden plot(s).  They must not intrude on communal areas or on other garden plots.
  • Place only litter and garbage in the garbage container on site and take home and discard recyclables appropriately.
  • Rocks must be placed only in areas designated by the Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Gardeners are encouraged to practice water conservation techniques including watering in the morning and evening and using garden mulch.  Hoses and water are provided at each site.
    • Share hoses with other gardeners.  Limit use to thirty minutes when others are waiting.
    • Hose cannot be attached to overhead watering systems or drip watering systems unless by previous arrangement with Park Operations.
  • Do not bring pets to the gardens.
  • Children must be supervised at the gardens.
  • Any plot not maintained for thirty days will be re-assigned by the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department and no refunds will be provided.
  • Fencing must be kept completely within the 10 foot by 20 foot garden plots.  Having netting or other fence materials outside the plot boundaries hinders Parks staff in their maintenance of the garden perimeters.
  • Stakes, poles, landscaping fabric, weed barrier and any plants to be saved must be removed from seasonal garden plots before November 1.  Raised beds must be leveled by this time.  Garden plots should be left empty and ready for another gardener to use.
  • No woody plants (vines, trees, shrubs) may be planted in the community gardens.
  • Year-round gardeners wanting to add any semi-permanent structures in or around their garden plots, other than the pre-approved items listed, must have approval by the Parks and Recreation Department prior to installation.  Pre-approved semi-permanent structures include rock borders, compost bins, raised beds, benches, wood stakes and net fencing.  Metal poles and concrete are not allowed in the gardens.  All semi-permanent structures must be removed by the gardener upon vacating the plot(s).
  • Use of a garden plot does not create any property interest in the land; rather, each gardener receives a license to use the plot for gardening purposes only for the designated period.

More Information

For more information, please contact the Parks and Recreation Main Office at (360) 778-7000 or email parks@cob.org.

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