Snow is on the ground and trees stand bare without a hint of green foliage, but many in the Midwest are already dreaming about planting a garden this spring.
If starting your own garden sounds like a good idea, but you just don’t have the space for one, don’t throw away those spades and pruners just yet.
There are a few garden plots in Champaign-Urbana that are available for public use. You just need to contact one of them soon to reserve your spot.
The Eddie Albert Gardens are located in Dodds Park between Parkland College and North Mattis Avenue.
The gardening season begins during the first week of April. Water is turned on by mid-April. Plots are available on a year-round or season-by-season basis. Plots that are rented year-round do not need to be cleared by any particular time of year and are the year-round responsibility of the renter. Plots that are rented season-by-season must be cleared by Nov. 1. Note: Spring till is the responsibility of the plot renter.
Registration is at the Leonhard Recreation Center only. No online registration is available at this time. Plots are available year-round in a 20′ x 20′ size or season-by-season in a 20′ x 20′ or 20′ x 30′ size. Elevated plots are available for gardeners with disabilities. Registration for returning gardeners (those who had gardens the previous year) begins Dec. 9. Registration for new gardeners begins Dec. 23.
20′ x 20′ Seasonal Plots (April – October) are $30 for residents or $45 for nonresidents
20′ x 30′ Seasonal Plots (April – October) are $40 for residents or $60 for nonresidents
20′ x 20′ Year-Round Plots (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31) are $40 for residents or $60 for nonresidents
Meadowbrook Organic Gardens
Growing Season: March 3-Nov. 3, 2019
Since 1975, the Meadowbrook Organic Garden program has supported healthy bodies and a healthy community. Space, water, hoses and wheelbarrows are provided. You supply tools, plants, labor, and optional fencing. A garden supervisor will assist with questions or concerns. Garden plots are rented in “as is” condition and participation is at your own risk. This is a community garden and interaction with the general public is expected and encouraged. For more information, call 217- 384-4062 or read the garden manual.
To register for a garden plot:
- Register by calling 217-367-1544 or completing the registration form. Online registration is not available.
- In addition to the plot rental fee, gardeners pay a $30/plot deposit. The deposit is returned at the end of the growing season if the gardener abides by the Urbana Park District’s published guidelines. Returning gardeners in good standing earn a discounted deposit.
- New gardeners must attend a Garden Meeting at the Anita Purves Nature Center where garden plot selection will take place. You must register and pay for the garden at least two days prior to attending a meeting.
Garden Meetings at Anita Purves Nature Center: March 26 from 7-8 p.m.; and April 6 from 10-11 a.m.
Raised Plot 11’ x 3’- $20 resident/$30 non-resident
Half Plot 17’ x 15’- $30 resident/$45 non-resident
Full Plot 17’ x 30’- $50 resident/$75 non-resident
Raised plots are ADA accessible. For additional questions call the Anita Purves Nature Center.
Orchard Downs Garden is part of the Orchard Downs graduate student housing complex on the University of Illinois campus. Garden plots, which are 10′ x 10′ yards, are $50 for residents and $90 for non-residents. Water is on site to use. Registration opens April 1. The gardening season runs from April to the end of October. Interested gardeners can call or email for more information.
Raised bed plots are available at Victory Gardens, located at 1000 E. Green St., in Urbana. Call to register or to find out more information.