City issuing free garden plots to community members

The city is giving access to free growing plots starting this year in exchange for growers using them for a community benefit.

Growers accepted for the program, titled Common Ground, will get a three-year license to use the sites, which are 0.3- to 1.5-acres in size. Those interested are asked to apply online at by 5 p.m. Feb. 15.

The plots are vacant or under-utilized city properties located at the following locations: John Taylor Park, PermaCommons, Penn St. Community Garden, Pearl Clark Community Garden, The Lawrence Community Orchard, Incubator Farm and Willow Domestic Violence Center garden.

The goal of the program is to increase local food production and Lawrence residents’ access to healthy food. City-given examples of using the plots for a community benefit were to donate produce to local food pantries or participate in educational outreach programs.

The Douglas County Food Policy Council and city staff will review the applications and make recommendations for recipients to the City Commission by late February.