The Sunset Recreation Canyon Center and the greater UCLA Recreation facilities remain closed in compliance with state and city guidelines until further notice. UCLA Recreation is currently operating under the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health orders for Institutions of Higher Education. We hope to reopen soon and grow with you all but are currently unable to provide you a definitive date. 



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

Mailing List: Subscribe Here!


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!

2020-2021 Academic Year Plot Applications

Given the current garden closure, we will not be offering our typical plot adoption services for the foreseeable future. Please continue to monitor our website and read update emails from us as they come in hopes of a possible return to campus gardening in the near future. 

Although we can not offer our typical services, our team is working closely with UCLA Recreation to continue having the garden planted for basic needs purposes. Nearly 200 pounds of fresh produce has been donated to local students this summer and we plan to continue this model while the garden remains closed to the public.

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?

Given the garden closure, plot adoption services for the 2020-2021 academic year will not be offered.

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:  Cognitive Science
Minor:  Environmental Systems and Society
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.