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National Parks

Visitor Activity Guidelines

Community or Collective Gardens

Printable version (PDF, 154 Kb)

Date of Approval: May 2010

Description of Activity

A community garden is a site operated and maintained by committed volunteers where a publicly owned parcel of land is used for growing ornamentals and/or produce for non-commercial use through individual and common (community garden) or entirely shared plots (collective garden).

National Direction

Parks Canada approves the practice of community gardening at the national level in accordance to the following national guidelines.

While activity is approved at the national level, the activity may not be approved at all Parks Canada locations. In places where this activity is approved, additional guidelines may be created in order to meet location-specific needs.

Activity Guidelines

  • Community gardens will only be offered in locations approved by Parks Canada staff.
    • Community gardens will only be offered in zones 4 and 5 in national parks.
    • The location of community gardens in national historic sites will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • For the protection of the environment, gardeners, and visitors, synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides and herbicides are prohibited.

  • Each park/site will provide a list of authorized seedlings.

  • Illegal and invasive species will not be allowed.

  • Resource inventories, assessments and ongoing monitoring will inform the site selection and ongoing management as necessary.

  • Safety, risk and liability will be considered during the local assessment and throughout the ongoing management of the community garden.

  • Management of the community garden can be assumed by either Parks Canada or a third-party who must obtain appropriate permits and licenses, and adequate liability insurance.
  • Commercial operators offering community gardening opportunities will be well versed in Parks Canada’s mandate and will provide interpretive messaging to participants.

  • Community gardening will not come in conflict with article 16 (1) (W) (PDF, 544 Kb) of the Canada National Parks Act concerning the authorization of the use of park lands, and the use or removal of flora and other natural objects, by Aboriginal peoples for traditional spiritual and ceremonial purposes.

Special Thanks

Parks Canada wishes to thank everyone who participated in the consultation to develop these guidelines.

These guidelines are subject to change in response to future market trends and to the evolution of technical elements related to the activities.


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