Managing Your Community Garden

Creating a plan that shows exactly what’s expected of participants and how the group will manage its resources will help you with managing your community garden.

Outline Member Responsibilities

Put in writing how members must:

  • Maintain their individual plots, as well as any common areas.
  • Participate in spring maintenance and fall cleanup.
  • Store and care for equipment.
  • Participate in regular work days for weeding, planting seeds, harvesting crops and cleaning up the site.

Establish a Leadership Plan

  • Designate a chief gardener.
  • List rules and assignments the chief gardener is responsible for enforcing (or delegating to others).
  • Create a signup sheet to ensure enough volunteers to cover group work days.
  • Outline steps that will be taken if any member fails to meet responsibilities; for example, issuing warning letters to members with untended plots, followed by a final letter if necessary saying the plot will be reassigned.
  • Keep a waiting list to fill open plots and leadership roles.

Garden Safety

  • Outline when gardens can be accessed and by whom, as well as a security plan.
  • List any safety concerns and measures to reduce risk.
  • Develop a process for new gardener training on the rules and guidelines, as well as safety measures.

Set Up Regular Communications

  • Remind members of responsibilities on a regular basis.
  • Announce new members or changes in leadership.
  • Reinforce safety precautions and alert members to any new concerns.
  • Create and update a calendar of group activities and cleanups.
  • Manage expectations. Remind members that it takes awhile to learn about what grows well and what challenges exist to overall garden management.