462 Halsey Community Farm
462 Halsey Community Farm

462 Halsey Community Garden Bylaws

Last Updated: April 2016

462 Halsey Community Garden (462 HCG)

462 Halsey Street (between Marcus Garvey and Lewis Aves)

Brooklyn, NY, 11233

Block 1664, Lot 40

Community Board: Brooklyn 3

Cofounders:  Shatia Jackson and Kristen Bonardi Rapp

Article I: Mission Statement

The 462 Halsey Community Garden ((462HCG) is a collaborative effort by community residents to create a green space in Bedford Stuyvesant that is dedicated to serving the community in areas that include education, agriculture, healthy living, community pride and community ownership.

We recognize that the act of reclaiming public land for community use is a political act, and as such we aim to be a space that facilitates activism for the oppressed in our community.  This includes actively enforcing our safe space policy and rallying against racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia and other forms of oppression.

462 Halsey Community Garden is a space that is inclusive to all. We strive to highlight and celebrate the historical community of color here in Bed Stuy, which we all call home. As such, we want our leadership, practice and programming to reflect that culture and that spirit of self-determination, actualization and empowerment.

Our goals are:

  • To grow food and forge new community bonds and relationships through mutual hard work

  • To offer neighborhood youth a place to develop and grow through hands-on learning and involvement

  • To  share  knowledge  on  healthy  and  sustainable  living  for  all  residents  and  to  foster a  cooperative learning environment

  • To encourage food, social and environmental justice through practice, awareness and advocacy

  • To increase access to locally grown food

Article II: Open Months and Hours

462  HCG  will  be  open  to  members  all  year  round and to  the general  public  from April  1st  to October  31st (unless otherwise specified for events).  Hours are as follows:

Monday - Saturday,  8am - 8pm*

Sunday - 9am - 6pm*

*Key holding garden members have access to work in the garden

during closed hours

*Non-members who want to access to the garden during closed hours can make a request 48 hours in advance for access. Please do so by contacting a key holding garden member to make arrangements by emailing 462halsey@gmail.com

Joining the Garden

Memberships run  from annual March meeting to annual March meeting.

All members, returning and new, are required to pay membership fees each year. New members must complete an application and new member orientation prior to receiving keys. There is a three-month probationary period for new members. During this time, they will not have voting rights or be able to speak on behalf of 462 Halsey without prior approval.

Garden Service

462 Halsey Community Garden has tiered membership to facilitate smooth garden governance and allow for differing commitment levels. New members are eligible to join as general members, with the option of joining the core collective after six months of continuous membership. Community members are also welcome to join monthly volunteer days and participate in workdays without joining the garden.

Each member of 462 HCG is required to commit their time to communal service at the garden. When signing up  for  membership (at March, July or September meeting),  each  new member  will  join  and  be  an  active member in one or more of our garden teams. Each team is organized by one or more leaders who will be responsible for coordinating members within their task force.  Garden participation requires a significant time commitment from members. We recognize that people’s ability to participate is circumstantial and dependent upon many factors.

Sabbaticals

Garden members may take a sabbatical and step back from garden participation without giving up membership. Sabbaticals should be arranged within garden committees, preferably in advance. Sabbaticals can be retroactively approved on a case by case basis as determined by committees. Garden members who are unable to fulfill certain requirements may reach out to core collective for alternative work.

General Garden Member requirements:

  • Five hours of communal service each month, March - November, or an average of 45 hours of communal service per growing season.

  • Join and be accountable to at least one garden task force: Communal and Maintenance; Compost; Education, Outreach and Events; Finance and Legal.

  • The following garden shifts, regardless of task force membership:

    • Two compost shifts, one must be between December and March

    • Three Communal Watering Shifts between April and November

    • One GrowNYC Produce Box volunteer shift

    • Outreach or set-up for one garden event

    • One shift at the weekly 462HCG farmer’s market

  • Attend at least four general meetings

  • Attend at least one general garden work day

  • Record work hours in garden work log

  • New members must attend one mandatory “garden basics” workshop during the year

  • Agrees to the Bylaws and Garden Use Guidelines of 462 HCG and signs garden membership agreement

  • Garden members are required to submit contact information to 462 HCG which we are obligated to share with Greenthumb/ NYC Parks

* Scheduled workdays can be counted towards hours of service

* Tasks completed remotely can be counted towards hours of service such as updating our social media/website, maintaining the treasury or grant writing

Any member that does not follow through with the outlined membership commitments will not be eligible for membership in the following year.

General Garden Membership includes:

  • Keys to front gate and all other locked structures within the garden

  • Option to cultivate an assigned plot within the garden (depending on availability)

  • Lending library of resources and books

  • Access to communal tools (to be used within garden confines)

  • Right to vote

  • Share of communal harvest

Core Collective Requirements and Responsibilities:

  • Team leaders are automatically part of the core collective, provided they have been members for at least six months. Team leaders also include beekeepers, volunteer coordinator and representatives from the private beds.

  • All core collective members must be garden members for six continuous months before being eligible to join.

  • Core collective members commit to a minimum of ten hours/month, or an average of 90 hours from March to November.

  • Core collective members meet monthly, in addition to general garden and task force meetings.

  • Core collective members are responsible for time-sensitive decisions that must be made between general meetings; core collective members address disciplinary and other problems, in consultation with garden alumni board or outside groups/mediators as needed.

Team Leader responsibilities and requirements (in addition to general and core collective):

  • Schedule and track work hours for team members

  • Maintain metrics, communication between team members and across teams

  • Schedule monthly meeting

  • Team leaders are selected by their team and approved by core collective members.

Volunteers

  • 462HCG will host monthly, recurring volunteer days from April to November.

  • Volunteers will be asked to record work hours in a general log.

  • Volunteer days will be organized by Volunteer Coordinator whose responsibilities include:

  • Volunteer recruitment and record keeping

  • Promotion of volunteer days in collaboration with Education, Events and Outreach team

Fees

Membership fees are established to cover garden needs that aren’t met through grants and donations. Fees are due when signing up. Membership fees will not be prorated for memberswho join after March or leave before the following March. Fees may be paid in cash, check or money order and are as follows:

  • Basic Membership  $15 annually

  • Basic Membership + Large Private plot $45 annually

  • There is an additional fee of $2 to cover the cost of making keys for each member.

A member can elect not to receive a key as a part of their membership.

Inability to  pay  dues  does  not  prevent  any  member of the  community from being involved  in the 462 HCG.

Financial assistance is available and can be arranged.

Article IV: Meetings and Voting

Meetings

Monthly meetings are open to  all  members and the public between April and November. 462HCG meetings will be held on the 9th of each month, unless the 9th falls on a weekend. In those cases, garden members will select meeting date the month before. Weather permitting, meetings will be held in the garden.  In the event of inclement weather, an alternate meeting place will be announced. Each meeting will have a rotating secretary and facilitator, determined at the prior meeting.

Responsibility of Secretary

The  Secretary  is  responsible  for all written records  of meetings.  There will be a secretary assigned at the beginning of each meeting.  The secretary is then responsible after each meeting to publicly post any minutes taken within 48 hours.

Bylaw Amendments

If a garden  member  has  an  issue  or  concern  that  could  be resolved  by  a  change in the bylaws, they are encouraged to bring it up in a garden meeting for discussion.

Once the proposal  is  formalized,  the  exact wording of the proposed change or

amendment, as  well as the current bylaw, would be circulated. Then the issue will be voted on in the next meeting.  Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of those voting,

if a quorum is present. A quorum is a majority of the garden members. If a majority of garden members are not present at the meeting, then no change will take place.

Voting Procedure

All voting will take place in the garden meetings, except in extreme cases approved by the core collective. Garden members who would like to participate but are not present due to other scheduling conflicts may vote by proxy during meetings or online after meeting votes. Since decisions will be informed by conversation and deliberation and consensus will often form during the meeting, absentee voting is discouraged. Voting will only take place at meetings with at least 60% of membership present, barring extenuating circumstances as determined by the core collective.

Need for Probationary Periods

Garden members who regularly experience discord with other garden members may be put on probation.  When issues occur (beyond members not meeting minimum requirements), core leadership has the right to ask that a member enter probation to help the garden function cohesively in ways that help us uphold our mission. While we strive to be as inclusive as possible, there is an element of fit as well; not all gardens are right for all people and our goal is to do as much good for the most constituents. Probation or suspension of members will never be done lightly and we aim to avoid this at all costs, however core members will employ this clause to benefit the garden as a whole at their discretion.

Details on Probationary Period

  • If there is repeated conflict with a garden member, a probationary period can be introduced by the task force the member is experiencing conflict with.

  • Probationary period will be overseen by core collective. The core collective will schedule a small-group meeting with member in question to discuss next steps toward resolution. Member facing probationary period has the option of putting their probation to vote of the full garden.

  • Probationary period is three months. While each probationary period will be responsive to the issue at hand, each probationary period will:

    • Suspension of voting rights and adding agenda items

    • Prohibition from posting to the list serve without approval/ moderation

    • Not speaking on behalf of or representing garden to the public

    • Other actions as determined by task forces on a case by case basis

  • Each probationary period will come with assigned benchmarks for improved behavior. If these benchmarks are not met, it is possible that membership will be terminated.

Communication with outside groups

462 HCG has been nurturing relationships with various outside groups for the greater good of our space and community. It is imperative that we speak with a unified voice when communicating with those outside of the garden. Any unauthorized communication with outside groups is grounds for immediate dismissal, as determined by the core collective.

Article VI: Garden Beds and Planting Areas

Assignment and Use of Private Garden Beds

Garden beds will be assigned to returning members only who meet the requirements listed under Article III:  Membership.  There are up to five beds available for private use. Beds must be used for growing produce and/or edible plants. They must be planted by April 15th and maintained through the entire growing season; private beds that are left untended for three weeks will be assigned for communal use. Private bed members may make arrangements for another member or friend when they are on vacation or otherwise unavailable, with permission of core collective and other private bed holders. Members with assigned beds are expected to provide their own seeds or plants for their beds.

Allocation of private beds is based on a number of criteria, including:

  • Need

  • Involvement in the garden for a season as either volunteer or member

  • Ability to care and maintain the plot of the duration of the season

  • Preference given to long-term Bed Stuy residents and community elders

  • Preference of existing private bed holders

  • Ability to work in the general garden based on membership criteria

If nobody fits the criteria, open bed will be made into a communal bed or education bed. Open beds require application.

Open bed will be allocated at the beginning of the season. Private bed is permanent as long as person wants to tend it after one-year probationary period. Private garden beds are not transferable without permission of the core collective/bed holders.

Communal Plots

Plants sown in the communal areas are just that: communal. These plots are designed to offer everyone — the general public, members, or people who simply wish to garden sparingly —a place to grow and harvest food. To ensure best farming practices, our communal plots are planned each season by members of the Communal and Maintenance team with input from the general garden. Garden and community members may not plant in communal beds without approval of the Communal and Maintenance team. All community members are welcomed to assistant in maintenance of community plots, following the lead of the Communal and Maintenance team. Garden members and regular volunteers are welcome to harvest freely from the communal beds only, with the understanding that we all must take only our fair share.

Harvest for the general public

Beginning in June, there will be a weekly harvest of produce growing at 462HCG. Produce will be sold on a suggested sliding scale of $1-$5. The purpose of this is harvest is:

  • To help make 462HCG in a more self-sustaining operation

  • To provide produce that is affordable for all community members

  • To ensure consistent harvests and encourage good farming practices.

Gardening Practices

We adhere to organic growing practices. Application of chemical pesticides,

herbicides or fertilizers anywhere in the garden,  or use chemically treated wood for garden beds is strictly forbidden.  A list of approved garden treatments will be available on 462halsey.com.

There is no growing of illegal  plants  in  462  HCG. Failure to follow this  policy will result in termination of membership and notification to the Police Dept of the guilty party/parties.

Article VII: General Garden Policies

Safe Space Policy

462  Halsey  Community Garden is an  inclusive neighborhood space. We strive to be  a safe and welcoming space for everyone who comes into the garden. Members and visitors of 462 Halsey Community Garden will constructively confront  and  stop  any  oppressive behavior or  language. The  following  behaviors  will  not  be tolerated at 462 Halsey:

  • Violence of any kind

  • Hateful and discriminatory language

  • Sexual Harassment / Catcalling

  • Discrimination based on:

    • race, ethnicity or culture

    • sexual orientation

    • gender or gender identity

    • age

    • ability

    • economic/social class

    • religion

462 Halsey Community Garden is a healing place for neighborhood residents to grow together. Grow food, grow friends, grow community. Growth is a deliberate action that begins with getting to know and respect each other.

Everyone coming  to  the  garden  is  wonderful,  unique,  full  of  potential  and  deserving  of respect and  safety.  Failure to comply with this policy may result in removal from the garden.

If you have any problems or questions about the safer space policy, please ask a garden memberbor reach out to the garden grievance team: 462halsey@gmail.com

Alcohol

The 462 Halsey Community Garden is a public area. The possession and/or consumption of an open container of alcohol by any person is illegal in the City of New York and will not be tolerated in the garden

Smoking

As in all of New York City’s parks and playground, there is no smoking on the grounds of 462 HCG.

Animals

Household pets are not allowed to roam free in the garden.  All pets must be contained in a carrier or restrained on  a  leash  and  accompanied  by  their  owner. Please clean up after your pet by carrying out all pet waste —never put pet waste in the compost bins!

Children

While we strive to be an open education center for community youth, children under the age of 16 may not enter the garden without a parent or guardian. Children with prior approval from a parent and a completed permission slip may enter the garden, provided

Education Programs

School and other educational groups are encouraged to visit 462HCG. We ask that all schools formally request a visit by emailing 462halsey@gmail.com. Groups must be accompanied by both adults and a current garden member.

Composting

The 462 HCG has a composting area. Garden and community members are encouraged to bring their kitchen scraps and yard waste materials to the garden to be composted — but please do NOT add materials to any of the compost bins unless you are a member of the compost team. There are labeled, designated containers to put food scraps and other compostable materials in.

End of Season

All individual beds must be cleared of old plants at the end of the season and either mulched or planted with cover crop. All members are expected to assist with ‘closing’ the garden by cleaning equipment, storing items, and removing waste at the end of season workday.

Gatherings

All general garden events must be open to the public. Members in good standing may also use the garden for private events.  Reservations must  be requested by contacting the Education and Events team, and made at least 2 weeks in advance. Times are available on a first-come, first-served basis with only one event at a time.  Attendance is  limited to 50 and events  must end one hour prior to closing,  cleanup is the responsibility of members who booked the event . As always,  please be  courteous  to our garden’s neighbors; events should respect NYC noise code. All trash must be packaged as required by the NYC Sanitation Department and left on the curb. Failure to comply will result in termination of membership.

Keys

All paying members will be given one key to the garden gate and any additional structures within the garden.  Keys must not be copied or shared with general public. Members are responsible for replacing lost or stolen keys.

Responsibility of Treasurer

The Treasurer is responsible for all distributions and collections for the garden, maintains accurate records of financial matters, and serves as signatory for the garden bank accounts. The treasurer will provide a quarterly summary of  the  garden’s  financial  status to the general membership. The treasurer will also oversee  grant money and insurance.

The treasurer must consult the garden membership on transactions over $100.  No reimbursement  of  funds  will  be  issued  without  approval  prior  to  the  purchase  being made  by  the  garden membership collectively.  Itemized receipts must be presented to the treasurer in advance of reimbursement.

Treasurer: Powers and Duties

The Treasurer  shall  have  the  custody  of  all  funds and securities  of the Garden that may  come into his/her hands;  shall serve as a signatory for bank accounts and depositories; shall keep or cause to be kept, full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements of the Garden; shall deposit all money and other valuable effects of the Garden in the name and to the credit of the Garden in such banks or depositories as the Finance and Legal Team may

designate.  The treasurer  will  control  the distribution and collection  of all funds for the garden and will submit the records to an annual audit before each annual meeting.

Whenever required by the garden membership, the treasurer shall at all reasonable times exhibit books and accounts to any members of the Garden,  shall  render  statements  of  the condition  of  the  finances  of  the  Garden  at meetings, and  shall perform all duties incident to the position of treasurer.

Treasurer: Term and Election

The treasurer will be elected by a vote of all community garden members.

The Treasurer will serve for a two year term.

Compensation

No member of the Garden shall receive any money from the Garden or any pecuniary profit from the operations thereof, except for reimbursement of expenses incurred in the performance of services.

Contracts, Checks, Bank Accounts, and Investments

Section 1. Checks, Notes and Contracts.

The Finance and Legal Team is authorized to select such depositories as it shall deem proper for the funds of the Garden and shall determine  who shall be authorized in  the Garden’s behalf to  sign bills, notes, receipts, acceptances, endorsements, checks, releases, contracts, and documents.  Authorized signatories for check signing purposes will be Treasurer and one other selected garden member. All checks of the Garden must be  signed  by  two of the three

officers. No two  signatories shall be  of the same household.

Section 2. Investments.

The funds of the Garden may be retained in whole or in part in cash or be invested in a savings account at the Brooklyn FCU.

Section 3. Reimbursements.

Any reimbursements  and  approved project expenditures must  be turned in  by the end of the  incurring fiscal year. Any projects and project budgets not completed by the January annual meeting must be resubmitted to the new Finance and Legal Team for re-approval.

We the members of the 462 Halsey Community Garden group hereby agree to hold harmless the

462 Halsey Community Garden License holders from and against any damage, loss, liability, claim, demand, suit, cost, and expense  directly  or  indirectly  resulting  from,  arising  out  of  or in connection  with  the  use  of the 462 Halsey Garden by the garden group, its successors, assigns, employees, agents, and invites.

Team Responsibilities

Finance and Legal Team

(Ideal for stewards who are good with budgeting, grant writing etc.)

  • Managing the treasury

  • Collection of dues and membership agreements

  • Grant writing

  • Fundraising

  • Soliciting Donations

  • Licenses and Contracts (greenthumb, HPD, DEP etc.)

  • Updating stewardship with greenthumb

  • Event insurance (as needed)

Education, Events and Outreach

(Ideal for stewards who do not have a lot of time to physically spend in the garden)

  • Managing all social media sites and website

  • Flyer distribution throughout the neighborhood

  • Reaching out to press for garden event announcements

  • Developing Partnerships with organizations

  • Community Outreach (tabling, door knocking etc.)

  • Creating signage around the garden regarding policies, best practices, community building, contact info etc.

  • Adult and youth workshops

  • Community Building events (potlucks, concerts etc.)

  • Calendar management

  • Private event bookings

  • Managing education garden beds

  • Managing GrowNYC pickups and any other markets in the garden

  • Planning and managing community wide harvest days (in partnership with communal)

Communal and Maintenance

  • Planning and managing workdays (in cooperation with communal and compost)

  • Trash management

  • Weeding (does not include private or communal growing beds)

  • Planning of decorative spaces

  • Management of decorative garden spaces

  • Plant ordering for decorative spaces

  • Storage organization (sheds etc.)

  • Repairs

  • General Clean up

  • Sidewalk maintenance

  • Distributing keys to new members

  • Maintaining a schedule for opening and closing the front gate

  • Crop Planning

  • Plant ordering for communal beds

  • Crop planting

  • Care and management of communal beds

  • Planning harvest days (in partnership with education and events team)

Compost Team

  • Managing compost

  • Compost workshops (in partnership with events team)

  • Creating partnerships with businesses for their scraps

  • Maintaining compost work log

  • Maintaining compost processing details

Each team will be responsible for:

  • Creating a plan and budget for their specific category and submitting it to the finance team so they can fundraise

  • Managing a schedule and team meetings

  • Record keeping for their category

  • Partnering with other teams on joint ventures when necessary

  • Reporting to the larger group at each general meeting:

    • Plans

    • Progress

    • Goals

    • Budget

    • Team stewards update

    • Proposals to vote on

    • Successes and challenges