Community Garden

Application Procedure

  • Apply for a plot:
    • We encourage you to apply through the mail; or
    • Renew in person at the Recreation Department
2010 Volunteers

Bauer Park Community Gardens 2020

General Garden Rules:

Opening day: To be determined by Beach and Rec and is weather dependent, please do not start planting until Beach and Rec open the gardens. Thanks!

Vehicles: Parking is allowed along the road up to the fence. Vehicles are allowed around the perimeter of the gardens only from April 1 to June 25 and again in October and November for clean-up. This is to prevent hard packing and subsequent erosion of the meadows.

Dogs: Dogs are allowed at Bauer Park and, by town ordinance, are to be leashed at all times. Feces must be cleaned up immediately. Bauer is a multi-use park and we have children and visitors in all areas of the park participating in many activities. It is our responsibility to keep these areas safe and healthy. Dogs are NOT allowed in the fenced-in garden areas at any time. Please do not allow dogs to walk in the gardens.

Bird houses: For over twenty years Bauer Park has participated in the Cornell Ornithology Lab Bluebird monitoring project. It is a very specific process and requires strict control of the houses and data collection. No other birdhouses are allowed on Bauer property as this interferes with data collection. Please do not put up any birdhouses in the garden plots or they will be removed.

Gardener’s Work Days: All gardeners who rent plots are required to participate in Bauer clean-up days to help maintain Bauer Park. It is a required 4 hours of work time. The organized dates are listed below. If one is unable to attend an organized work day please contact the Bauer Park Garden Committee via the Beach and Rec Office to establish an individual maintenance project. You may pay $60 in lieu of the 4 hours work time. You may have another person work for you. We have gardeners and park visitors willing to donate hours for gardeners too ill to participate in the maintenance program. If you do not participate, pay $60, or make arrangements, you will be denied a garden plot the following year. This is a mandatory requirement.

  • April 4, 2020  9 am to 11 am
  • May 2  9 am to 11 am
  • June 6  9 am to 11 am
  • July 11  9 am to 11 am   
  • August 1  9 am to 11 am
  • Sept. 12  9 am to 11 am
  • October 3  9 am to 11 am  Fall Clean Up
  • October 16   Harvest Festival Set Up
  • October 17  Harvest Festival 
  • November TBD  Garden Clean Up

Tool Sheds: Garden tools may be stored in the sheds, please allow room for your garden neighbor’s tools.

Watering:  Spigots are placed throughout the gardens. “Unmanned” sprinklers are not allowed. We suggest hand-watering as it is much more efficient than sprinklers. The water comes from the pond and is NON-potable. Do not drink!

Application Procedure

  • We encourage you to apply through the mail.  
    • Mail the application form to: Town of Madison, Recreation Department, 8 Campus Drive, Madison, Connecticut 06443.
    • Make a non-refundable payment to “Town of Madison”
  • Renew in person at the Recreation Department.
  • The entire Community garden area will be turned as soon as the ground can be worked. Please wait until the garden is turned before planting or putting up individual fences. Please do not start planting until the town has prepared the plots, the date is weather dependent and will be posted at the park and emails will be sent to everyone who has rented a plot. We anticipate the opening date as being early in April. We do not provide individual plot roto-tilling.
  • Deadline for renewal is April 3,  2020.  
  • New gardener applications will be accepted beginning April 6, 2020.  
  • Returning gardeners who wish to add space may do so starting April 27, 2020.
  • Gardeners who have lost their plots due to infractions of the rules, from the previous year (including not cleaning up plot), must wait until May 10, 2020 to rent a plot if there are any available at that time.
plants growing in community garden plots

Plot Descriptions

Use of non–organic chemical pesticides is strictly prohibited in any garden at Bauer Park. Please supervise children. We strongly encourage their participation in gardening activities while they receive your guidance and direction.
Plot Type Size Cost Description
Garden Approximately 20' x 20' $25 no non-organic pesticides are to be applied
Organic Approximately 20' x 20' $25 no non-organic pesticides or fertilizers are to be applied
Payment in lieu of 4 hours work time      --- $60 Payment in lieu of participation in the Bauer Maintenance
Greenhouse Space varies $5 please contact Beach and Rec for availability

Plot Assignment, Number of Plots & Cultivation Deadlines

  • Plots in the Community Gardens will be reassigned to gardeners who renew by April 3, 2020 unless they did not clean up their plots or volunteer for the required 4 hours in 2019.
  • Beginning April 6, 2020 plots not rented in all gardens will be made available to new gardeners on a first come, first served basis until all plots are assigned.
  • You may have up to two plots (Beach & Rec. has the discretion to limit the number of plots assigned) in either the Community Garden or Organic Garden that will be automatically reassigned yearly, you may rent a third plot after April 27, 2020 if there are any available. The third plot will not be automatically reassigned in 2021.
  • Beginning on May 10,  2020 gardeners who have lost plots due to infractions of the rules may reapply for a plot as available.
  • Plots that are rented, but not cultivated by June 8, 2020 will be made available to other gardeners for a $15 fee.  You will automatically lose your option to reserve the plot next year*.
    • *If you are unable to meet this deadline, but have every intention of utilizing the plot by July 1, you must call 203-245-5624 before the deadline. If the plot is not planted by July 1, 2020 it will be utilized for food share.
  • Plot Cleanup; You are required to remove any fencing, fabric or gardening stakes you have placed on your plot and take it with you by (end of day) Saturday, November 28, 2020.  Each plot must be cleared of all stakes, non-organic mulch, fabric, markings, etc. If your plot is not cleared by the deadline you will be denied a plot rental the following year.

Garden and Plot maintenance and hygiene

  • Plots must be maintained in good condition and within the boundaries established
  • Maintain your garden by picking your crops regularly and arranging with someone to care for your plot while you are away. Please don’t waste food. Contact the Bauer Park Garden Committee, via the Madison Beach and Rec Department, if you are unable to pick your produce. Please don’t let vegetables rot on the vine.
  • Keep grass walkways clear of hoses and other gardening materials
  • Bauer Park has a carry in, carry out policy for trash.
  • You are encouraged to regularly tend your plot and carefully use organic insect deterrents only when absolutely necessary in all the Community Gardens. DO NOT USE NON-ORGANIC CHEMICAL PESTICIDES. If you use non-organic chemical pesticides you will automatically lose your option to reserve a plot the following year.
  • Fencing; Green, black or wire mesh, no higher than four feet may be used to fence individual plots in all gardens; however, no orange fencing or barbed wire is allowed. Fences must be removed by (end of day) Saturday, November 28, 2020.  
  • Mulches; Mulching is an important part of gardening to conserve water and keep weeds down. However, thin plastics are meant to be covered, if left uncovered they breakdown in the sun and are very difficult to remove, often breaking into small pieces. Please use the appropriate materials and remove them completely by the clean-up date. If using plastic or fabric you must rake it out of your plot if it has broken down during the season.
  • Garden Waste
    • Please place organic debris from your garden next to the sheds trying not to block the path.
    • All non-organic material should be taken with you and disposed of properly.

Dates to Remember 2020

Plot cultivation deadline is June 8 and plot cleanup deadline is end of day November 28, 2020.

Monthly Gardener’s Maintenance – meet at the classroom for tools and tasks!

  • April 4, 2019  9 am to 11 am
  • May 2  9 am to 11 am
  • June 6  9 am to 11 am
  • July 11  9 am to 11 am   
  • August 1  9 am to 11 am
  • Sept. 12  9 am to 11 am
  • October 3  9 am to 11 am  Fall Clean Up
  • October 16   Harvest Festival Set Up
  • October 17  Harvest Festival
  • November TBD  Garden Clean Up

Madison Food Pantry Donations

We will continue to have a shed available for produce donations. We encourage gardeners to donate extra produce and to have someone tend to their gardens when they are away to prevent good food from rotting in the plots. We can arrange to have produce picked in your plot if you are unable to pick it yourself or if you are away. Please contact the Bauer Park Garden Committee via the Beach and Recreation Department.

Raised Bed

If you know someone who would like to garden but is unable to use our regular plots because of health restrictions, we have four (4) raised beds (North Garden Plot #15) available.  Fee $10 per bed.


Call the Recreation Department at 203-245-5624 email: questions will be forwarded to the appropriate person.