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Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.

Public Health and Social Services

    Information provided here will help with safer gardening practices that also benefit our community's air and water quality, and connect you with opportunities for community gardening in Thurston County. 

    Protect your health and the health of our community with Common Sense Gardening practices. Chemicals used in your yard and garden can end up in our bodies and in our community’s drinking water, lakes, rivers, streams, and Puget Sound. 

    Thurston County Public Health and Social Services provides a list of community gardens in Thurston County.  These gardens are open to the public to join and provide opportunities to grow fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

    vegetable garden

    Common Sense Gardening

    Build healthy soil:

    • Use compost and organic, slow-release fertilizer for healthy soil. Apply mulch to help prevent weeds and conserve water.
    • Plan before you plant. 
    • Plant right for your site depending on how much sun, water, and attention the plant will need in the desired location. 

    Practice smart watering:

    • Water deeply and less frequently. Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation to deliver water right to the plant roots.
    • Water in the mornings or evenings to prevent evaporation. 
    • Check to make sure that automatic irrigation systems are set up for the yard that you currently have. They are often programmed for brand new plantings. As plants mature, they need more water, less often.

    Prevent problems before they start:

    • Grow Smart, Grow Safe techniques emphasize the prevention of common pests and weeds. When you do have a problem, think twice before using pesticides. To choose the safest products check out the Grow Smart, Grow Safe website.
    • Practice natural lawn care.

    Thurston County Community Gardens

    Thurston County Public Health and Social Services works with local partners to increase access to healthy foods throughout the county. Community gardens increase access to and availability of healthy food. Eating healthy which includes a variety of fruits and vegetables helps prevent, delay, and manage many chronic diseases (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). For information on a healthy diet which includes fruits and vegetables please visit: My Plate.gov

    The community gardens included here meet the definition of a collaborative, shared, open space that is accessible to residents of the local community who are the gardeners. These gardeners agree to share in the maintenance (plant, tend, harvest, etc.) and products of the garden, which include healthful and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables.

    Thurston County Public Health and Social Services worked with community partners during 2011 – 2014 to establish four (4) new community gardens in Thurston County. There are currently twelve (12) community gardens in Thurston County.

     

    “Our community gardens are great spaces for first-time and life-time gardeners to socialize. We encourage our gardeners to use each other as gardening resources. We want the community gardens to not only be a space to grow produce, but an institution for education in gardening and community involvement.” – Luke Burns, City of Olympia Recreation Supervisor for Sunrise Park and Yauger Park community gardens

    St. Mark Community Garden - St. Mark Lutheran Church

    Address: 2109 College Street SE, Lacey, WA 98503
    Organization: St. Mark Lutheran Church
    Number of Plots: 46
    Membership Fee: $25 refundable deposit, if 10 hours of labor is given to our Thurston County Food Bank Garden (2018)
    Organic Practices Followed: Yes
    Near a School (k-12): Yes
    Near a Bus Line: Yes
    Parking Available: Yes 
    Fencing Around Garden: No
    Contact: 360-870-6267 
    gatofrare@comcast.net


     The GraceWorks Church Community Garden - The GraceWorks Church

    Address: 7945 Steilacoom Road SE, Lacey, WA 98503
    Organization: The GraceWorks Church
    Number of Plots: 12
    Membership Fee: $10 per bed (for up to two beds) / year 
    Organic Practices Followed: Yes
    Near a School (K-12): Yes
    Near a Bus Line: Yes
    Parking Available: Yes
    Fencing Around Garden: Yes
    Contact: garden@thegraceworks.com

    raised garden beds surrounded by trees

    Capital Vision Community Garden - Capital Vision Christian Church

    Address: 1775 Yew Avenue NE, Olympia, WA 98506
    Organization: Capital Vision Christian Church
    Number of Plots: 40
    Membership Fee: $80 per year (as of 2018)
    Organic Practices Followed: Yes
    Near a School (K-12): Yes
    Near a Bus Line: Yes
    Parking Available: Yes
    Fencing Around Garden: Yes
    Contact: Rene
    360-791-6808
    renecvcc@gmail.com
    Online Information: Capital Vision Christian Church Facebook page

    sign for Capital Vision Community Garden

    The Garden of Weedin’ - Westminster Presbyterian Church

    Address: 1925 Boulevard Road SE, Olympia, WA 98501
    Organization: Westminster Presbyterian Church
    Age of Garden: 12 years
    Number of Plots: 23
    Membership Fee: $60 for a full bed (20’ x 4’) or $30 for half that size. In addition, all gardeners must donate 10% of product to Thurston County Food Bank (as of 2022)
    Organic Practices Followed: Yes
    Near a School (K-12): Yes
    Near a Bus Line: Yes
    Parking Available: Yes
    Fencing Around Garden: Yes
    Contact: 360-259-0283 or Susanakin@comcast.net
    Online Information: The Garden of Weedin’ Facebook page

    colorful painted sign for Garden of Weedin'

     Olympia Community Garden - Sustainable South Sound

    Address: 1405 13th Avenue SE, Olympia, WA 98501
    Organization: Sustainable South Sound
    Number of Plots: 23, a mix of 10x20 and 20x20
    Membership Fee: 10x20: $45, 20x20: $85 (as of 2022)
    Organic Practices Followed: Yes
    Near a School (K-12): Yes
    Near a Bus Line: Yes
    Parking Available: Yes (limited)
    Fencing Around Garden: Yes
    Contact: olycommunitygarden@gmail.com

     “As community gardeners we seek to work both independently and together to grow food, learn about gardening, and create community within our garden.” – Community gardener

    sign attached to a post for Olympia Community Garden surrounded by greenery

    Evergreen Community Gardens - The Evergreen State College

    Address: 2712 Lewis Road NW, Olympia, WA 98502
    Organization: The Evergreen State College
    Number of Plots: 50-70
    Membership Fee: $10 per year for faculty and Alumni, $20 per year for community members, FREE for enrolled students (as of 2018)
    Organic Practices Followed: Yes
    Near a School (K-12): No
    Near a Bus Line: Yes
    Parking Available: Yes
    Fencing Around Garden: Yes
    Contact: tesccommunitygardens@gmail.com
    Online Information: Evergreen Community Gardens
    Note: There is a Harvest Festival at the Organic Farm (next to the community garden) each October.

    fence with sign for Evergreen Community Garden

     Sunrise Park Community Garden - Olympia Parks, Arts, & Recreation

    Address: 505 Bing Street NW, Olympia, WA 98502
    Organization: Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation
    Number of Plots: 55
    Membership Fee: $35 per year regular plot; $19 per year ADA plot (smaller); $8.75 per year scholarship (as of 2023)
    Organic Practices Followed: Yes
    Near a School (K-12): Yes
    Near a Bus Line: Yes
    Parking Available: Yes (and bike parking on playground)
    Fencing Around Garden: Yes
    Contact: Luke Burns, Recreation Supervisor
    360-570-5857
    lburns@ci.olympia.wa.us
    Online Information: Sunrise Park Community Garden 


     Yauger Park Community Garden - Olympia Parks, Arts, & Recreation

    Address: 530 Alta Street SW, Olympia, WA 98502
    Organization: Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation
    Number of Plots: 80
    Membership Fee: $35 per year regular plot; $19 per year ADA plot (smaller); $8.75 per year scholarship (as of 2023)
    Organic Practices Followed: Yes
    Near a School (K-12): Yes
    Near a Bus Line: Yes
    Parking Available: Yes
    Fencing Around Garden: Yes
    Contact: Luke Burns, Recreation Supervisor
    360-570-5857
    lburns@ci.olympia.wa.us
    Online Information: Yauger Park Community Garden

    wooden sign for Yauger Park Community Garden

    Rainier Community Garden - Rainier FFA Organization

    The Rainier Community Garden is always looking for new participants and support. This is a great opportunity if you are interested in learning to garden, don't have gardening space of your own, or just want to give back to the community. It’s FREE to participate!

    Purpose: To bring the Rainier community and surrounding areas together and provide educational gardening opportunities for everyone while growing fresh food and impacting local hunger issues.

    People Served: We garden as a collective group and donate a majority to the Rainier Emergency Food Center, our local food bank. Over the past five years, an average of 77% of the produce harvested has been donated to The Rainier Emergency Food Center which serves 200 families on a weekly basis and 2,100 individuals per month. The other 23% has been taken home by our volunteers who come to help during work parties. We have on average about 7-10 community volunteers who come to work parties or events.

    Address: Rainier High School, 308 2nd Street W, Rainier, WA 98576
    ​​​​​Membership Fee: No
    Organic Practices Followed: Yes
    Near a School (K-12): Yes
    Near a Bus Line: No
    Parking Available: Yes
    Fencing Around Garden: Yes
    Contact: Angie Karnes, Garden Manager
    360-561-0990
    karnesa@rainier.wednet.edu

    photo collage of community members with produce from garden

    Tenino FFA Community Garden - Tenino FFA Organization

    Address: 500 W 2nd Street, Tenino, WA 98589
    Organization: Tenino FFA Organization
    Number of Plots: 15
    Membership Fee: No (as of 2018)
    Organic Practices Followed: Yes
    Near a School (K-12): Yes
    Near a Bus Line: Rural Transportation Line
    Parking Available: Yes
    Fencing Around Garden: Yes
    Contact:
    Geraldine: maxfield@tenino.k12.wa.us
    Sally: 360-349-3635 or sallya@scattercreek.com

    raised garden bed filled with cabbage and kale

     “This place was created to cultivate not only a garden, but also a community. It has done every bit of that!” -  S. Alhadeff, garden coordinator

    Gayle’s Garden - Tumwater United Methodist Church

    Address: 1401 Lake Park Drive SW, Tumwater, WA 98512
    Organization: Tumwater United Methodist Church
    Number of Plots: 16
    Membership Fee: $20, refundable
    Membership Application: Tumwater Community Garden Application
    Organic Practices Followed: Yes
    Near a School (K-12): No
    Near a Bus Line: Yes
    Parking Available: Yes
    Fencing Around Garden: Yes
    Contact: tumwatergarden@gmail.com  

    small group of community members smiling in front of garden

    Yelm Community Garden - Bounty for Families

    Address: 301 2nd Street SE, Yelm, WA 98597
    Organization: Bounty for Families
    Number of Plots: 9
    Membership Fee: No
    Organic Practices Followed: Yes
    Near a School (K-12): Yes
    Near a Bus Line: Yes
    Parking Available: Yes
    Fencing Around Garden: No
    Contact: 
    360-878-6167 
    hess.brian.g@gmail.com

    Two people smiling and gardening

    Contact our Education and Prevention program for more information at healthyhomes@co.thurston.wa.us or call 360-867-2674 if you have additional questions.  

    DISCLAIMER: You are hereby notified that Thurston County does not oversee or maintain these gardens.  Participants in the program assume all risk of injury and loss due to allergies or any other ailment/condition/injury incurred from participation in the community gardens.