As of Monday, March 16th, the jane b semel HCI Community Garden will be closed until further notice. Please direct any inquiries to Thank you for your understanding and we hope to be gardening with you all soon enough!


The jane b semel HCI Community Garden provides an on-campus space for the UCLA community to grow healthy food and foster education of urban gardening practices. In partnership with the Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Center at UCLA, envisioned and supported by Jane and Terry Semel, this garden is intended to promote community building and address food insecurity on campus. 




Instagram: @HCIgardens

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The jane b semel HCI Community Garden started as a project out of the student club Dig: The Campus Garden Coalition at UCLA whose mission is to build more spaces where the UCLA community can come together and learn about food systems through hands-on gardening. In 2015, the original designs of the garden were drafted by Dig members who have since collaborated with the Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Center, UCLA Recreation and One Gun Ranch to create the garden that exists today. The terraced garden sits atop the existing amphitheater, consisting of 31 beds which are used by student organizations, academic courses, and UCLA staff and faculty to grow food and hold workshops. This garden is maintained by the Garden Oversight Committee, a joint committee of DIG leaders, Semel HCI researchers, and Recreation staff dedicated to maintaining this hub for experiential learning and dialogue about our food systems. 


The garden is located at the top of the amphitheater in the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center, and is accessed through the main entrance of SCRC (111 Easton Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024).

Special Thanks

This garden would not be made possible without the student leaders who first envisioned the top of the amphitheater as a community garden on campus and worked tirelessly to make it real. These students include Ian Davies, Steven Eggert and Cloudy Xu. Also a big thank you to the garden’s early supporters including Dr. Wendy Slusser and the Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Center, Alice Bamford from One Gun Ranch, Dana Dickerson from Recreation, and Mick DeLuca. Special thanks also to The Green Initiative Fund for getting us our initial funding for the project, and in memory of former campus architect Jeff Averill for his advocacy and design expertise. Added to the list are the inaugural members of the GOC, including Katie Zeller, Jacob Garson, Daniel Shen and Mark Biedlingmaier. 

Stay up to date with the various events and workshops being held at the garden!

The Summer 2020 plot application window has closed. Please check back in Fall 2020 for more information on applying for a plot for the 2020-2021 Academic Year. 

Please email us at if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your interest! 



Check out the quarterly newsletters our team creates. Click on a link below to access a newsletter.

Winter 2020 Newsletter Spring 2019 Newsletter  Winter 2019 Newsletter  Fall 2018 Newsletter 

Our most recent newsletter (Winter 2020) can be read below:




 Who is eligible to apply for a garden plot?

UCLA students, staff, and faculty. Groups of 5 or more can apply for a plot; individuals are also encouraged to apply as a free agent to be placed in a plot with other free agents.

Due to high demand and limited plots available, we cannot guarantee all who apply will receive a plot, however, we will do our best to accommodate everyone.

What is the application timeline?

Applications for the 2019-2020 Academic Year season are NOW LIVE until Friday October 18th. Notification of garden approval will be released via email Monday, October 21, 2019.

The next round of applications for the Summer 2020 Season will open in May 2019. 2020-2021 Academic Year applications will be announced in the Summer of 2020. Join our Facebook Group or mailing list to stay updated.

How many plots are there? How big are they?

There are 31 plots, each approximately 4’x10’.

Is there a minimum number of members per plot? Is there a maximum?

Yes, to encourage high participation and learning, we require each plot have 5 members minimum, with no maximum. Members can be added at any time, but you must have at least 5 members when applying.

What if I don’t have a group of 5?

Apply as a Free Agent to be placed in a plot with other Free Agents. There is a box you can check on the same application that is used for groups. We will also post workshop and events to the Facebook Group where you can join and meet others interested in gardening regardless of whether or not you are a plot-holder. Another resource is DIG, a student club who manages a garden at the Mesa Lawn of Sunset Rec.

How long is a plot leased for?

Plots are leased for approximately 9 months (Oct-June) during the Academic Year Season, and 3 months (June-Sept) for the Summer Season. If you forfeit your plot early, we will give it to those on the wait list.

Yay I am a member! How can I communicate with other members?

Join our FB group here! This group is open to both members and non-members to share gardening stories, tips, happenings, etc.

Unfortunately I am not a member yet, but how can I stay involved?

Join our FB group here! Non-members are welcome to join our workshops and events posted in this group. It is open to both members and non-members to share gardening stories, tips, happenings, etc.

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive general gardening updates and information about public workshops and application deadlines.

Follow our Instagram (@hcigardens) to see highlights from our workshops and plot-holder spotlights.

Do I have to be a plot-holder to participate in the Urban Gardening Certificate Program?

No, you do not! Click here to access our UGCP FAQ doc. 

What are my responsibilities as a member?

In a nutshell, you are expected to: keep a well maintained plot (must not lie fallow or disturb neighboring plots, and be relatively free of weeds), participate in workshops/work days (at least 1 per quarter), be kind and inclusive to the community

For a detailed list of rules, responsibilities, and expectations, please refer to our Membership Agreement, found HERE.

Is this a sustainable garden? What does that mean?

YES! It means no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or repellents may be used ANYWHERE inside the garden. Check out our Resources tab on this website for where to buy organic, non-GMO seeds, and natural ways to manage pests.

What happens to the produce grown in the garden?

Produce can be taken home to make healthful meals or swapped among members. Plot-holders are strongly encouraged to donate produce to the Community Programs Office Food Closet, located in the Student Activities Center to help other Bruins have access to fresh and healthy foods.

Who do I contact for more information?

Send us an email at: or ask a question on the Facebook Group.

I need advice on gardening, who or where should I go?

The Garden Oversight Committee has weekly office hours to answer all of your gardening questions. Refer to the Events Calendar tab of this page to see when our next office hours are scheduled. Also, check out our Resources tab on this website, attend a workshop where you can chat with members or other expert(s), or email us at and we’ll try to help you out. 

Check out the following resources for tips, local happenings, and inspiration!


Educational Resources:


Policy Resources:


LA Gardening Community Service:


Campus Gardens:


The jane b semel HCI Community Garden is ran by the Garden Oversight Committee. They work to make your gardening experience the best it can be by managing the space, organizing workshops, and much more!

Meet our dedicated staff:

   Ashley Lee
Major:  Psychology 
Favorite Plant: Sunflowers!
What Ashley does for fun:  I enjoy trying out new recipes in the kitchen, going on road trips, crafting (scrapbooking, crocheting, embroidery), and spending time with my two dogs.
 Her favorite part about being on the Garden Oversight Committee:   I love being able to work together and learn from people in the garden (on and off the team) who are so knowledgeable and passionate about what they do. Not only does it inspire me, it has allowed me to find a sense of community in the garden amidst the large campus. 


Thomas Brinkop
Major: Biochemistry
Favorite Plant: Bristlecone Pine
What Thomas does for fun: I am a huge fan of being out in nature. I am a birdwatcher and love going out to find new birds. I also love to visit national parks and backpack around this beautiful country.
His favorite part about being on the Garden Oversight Committee: The best part about the GOC is the people you meet in the garden! Being able to communicate and share the love of plants and nature with such a fantastic community is the best part about the job.


Ana Laura Paiva
Major: Art History
Favorite Plant: I have three ! Rue, watercress, and sorrel.
What Ana Laura does for fun: I love exploring Los Angeles, going to the beach, and painting. I also have fun at the Garden, the Tower Gardens at Sproul Landing, and the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden here at UCLA-there’s always something beautiful to see!
Her favorite part about being on the Garden Oversight Committee: I feel so grateful and inspired to be a part of the GOC, and a part of our gardening community here at UCLA.


Elaine Zhang
Major: Linguistics and Asian Languages and Cultures
Minors  Food Studies; Environmental Systems and Society
Favorite Plant: Tomatoes!
What Elaine does for fun: I love solo-traveling, playing tennis, trying new donut and ice cream places, relaxing at the beach, and learning new skills like woodworking, leatherworking, and juggling. I also really love going to Marshalls.
Her favorite part about being on the Garden Oversight Committee: I love being able to contribute to a community that is positive, resilient, and patient. Growing plants can be an intimidating and disappointing process, which is why it brings me joy to see so many folks learn to garden for the first time or give gardening another shot after accidentally killing a few plants.