Vamos A Sembrar Community Garden
198 Ave B, New York, NY 10009 (between 12th & 13th St)

Steering Committee Tasks & Responsibilities

Based on and following the garden bylaws:

Updated: 7/27/20, 9/8/20

Immediate items:

Blank forms for printout (PDF files):

Reminder of Our Mission. The purpose of the Vamos A Sembrar community garden is to provide a green, restful, beautiful and safe space for gardening. This space is for the community to enjoy. The garden will be open as often as possible and will be made available to serve as a public space for neighborhood meetings, social gatherings and other activities.

Some simple ways to determine if the community garden is on mission or not:

  1. Ask yourself, “Is the garden feeding my personal energy, or is it depleting it?”
  2. Is the Steering Committee, as a whole, functional or dysfunctional? (Bylaws, article V., third paragraph.)

Table of Contents

The Positions

Steering Committee (SC)

The SC is comprised of up to 8 garden members; is responsible for the overall governance of the community garden. Non-SC garden members may take care of some of the responsibilities, but with knowledge of the SC.

The SC needs to set

Garden Liaisons — Primary Contact & Secondary Contact

They are liaisons between the garden and GreenThumb: One garden member per position; they do not have to be on the SC; they either volunteer or can be voted into the position by the general garden membership; their very specific responsibilities, according to GreenThumb, are as follows:
(See GreenThumb > Garden Liaison:, as well as,
the GreenThumb Gardener's Handbook 2019, page 64, Role of Garden Contacts: English | Español)

The Garden Liaisons are not responsible to oversee most of the tasks below unless they also happen to be on the SC. However, they are responsible (as part of their liaison role above) as follows:

Membership Tasks

New Members

Requirements to become a member: 30 hours and 3 garden meetings.
Initial contact by interested new person:

Volunteer Garden Hours That Count

Existing members

Steering Committee members

Meeting Tasks

For each meeting, the SC needs to determine the following:

Regular garden meetings

Held monthly (required), April-October; off-season also monthly, not required, but strongly suggested (see Off-Season Maintenance Requirements below).

The Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting date?

SC Meetings

Volunteers (Non-Members)

Planting Signage

To avoid miscommunications and mistakes, such as, planting in the wrong place or someone else's area, over-watering or miss-watering.
Signages should be made with safe materials that will fit the garden environment (such as using wood boards, wood tongue depressors, etc.)

Reporting to GreenThumb and/or 311

The following should be reported to either GreenThumb and/or 311:

Off-Season Maintenance Requirements

Off-season: November 1 - March 31.

  1. Monthly meetings should be held through the off-season in order to make sure all, or at least most, of the following are being done, and especially to continue to allow new potential members to be able to fulfill their requirements.
  2. Liter/garbage picking, weekly or the more often, the better.
  3. Rat management, 2-3 times weekly.
  4. Fall leaves management, Oct-Dec.
  5. Mulching and other soil preparations and plant and tree winter protection, if necessary.
  6. Getting Free Garden Materials (mulch, soil, compost).
    The SC must be on top of applying for certain necessary garden materials as soon as it is announced. Such materials may include mulch (wood chips), compost, and soil. These materials are provided for free in bulk (dump truck delivery) or in bags (usually 40-lb bags) by either the Parks Dept or DSNY (Sanitation). It is on a first-come-first-serve basis and they usually ‘sold out' within two weeks of the announcement (usually in January). The Primary and Secondary Contacts are usually the ones that receive such announcements, but their only responsibility is to pass the announcements to the steering committee and/or general members email list. It is then the responsibility of the steering committee on who will submit the application form and to coordinate when the delivery is made to the garden.
  7. Seeds harvesting from certain dried out plants, and have a place for all seeds for the garden members to share from.
  8. Tools maintenance (cleaning, fixing) and inventory (security, wishlist).
  9. Snow and ice sidewalk clearing.
  10. Late Winter / Pre-Spring Preparations: getting free or buying seeds and bulbs; nursery trays and seedlings growing medium preparations; facilitating having and maintaining a small temporary hoophouse for germinating seeds; determining the tools we may need before spring arrives.
  11. Attending GreenThumb workshops and free supplies pickup (one in the winter, and one in the spring)—getting free supplies requires one or more garden members to attend one or more GreenThumb workshops.
  12. Bylaws and Guidelines review and updates based on garden members complaints and issues. Bylaws and Guidelines can be amended once a year and during the Annual Meeting. The off-season may provide the steering committee the time to review and research the proper wording if and for any amending that may need to be done before the next Annual Meeting.
  13. Relicensing with GreenThumb occurs every four years and is renewed by December of the fourth year (current license is from 1/1/2019-12/31/2022). The SC must review and prepare the license, the registration forms, have the latest membership list, and the latest Garden Bylaws. The garden members should be able to see and review these documents (on paper and/or online) before they are submitted to GreenThumb.

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