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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
gender or gender identity
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: email@example.com
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
As in all of New York City’s parks and playground, there is no smoking on the grounds of 462 HCG.
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!
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
School and other educational groups are encouraged to visit 462HCG. We ask that all schools formally request a visit by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Groups must be accompanied by both adults and a current garden member.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Finance and Legal Team
(Ideal for stewards who are good with budgeting, grant writing etc.)
Managing the treasury
Collection of dues and membership agreements
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.)
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)
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.)
General Clean up
Distributing keys to new members
Maintaining a schedule for opening and closing the front gate
Plant ordering for communal beds
Care and management of communal beds
Planning harvest days (in partnership with education and events team)
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:
Team stewards update
Proposals to vote on
Successes and challenges