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RE: children in community gardens

  • Subject: RE: [cg] children in community gardens
  • From: "Honigman, Adam" <Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002 13:45:32 -0400

Dear Sheila,
Caveat: Please note that  neither I nor the ACGA are engaged in rendering legal services. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.  That being said, your insurance agent and/or attorney should review the "hold harmless" clause in the usage agreement that all new garden members, school and camp groups should sign. In basic boilerplate form these read like this:
Include a Hold Harmless clause (samples):
Childrens' group:
  • "We the undersigned members of the (name) children's group hereby agree to hold harmless (name garden/owner of land) 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 (name) garden by the children's group, its successors, assigns, employees, agents and invites."
Individual persons/ parent on behalf of a child
  • I understand that neither the garden group nor owners of the land are responsible for my actions or that of my children. I THEREFORE AGREE TO HOLD HARMLESS THE GARDEN GROUP AND OWNERS OF THE LAND FOR ANY LIABILITY, DAMAGE, LOSS OR CLAIM THAT OCCURS IN CONNECTION WITH USE OF THE GARDEN BY ME OR ANY OF MY GUESTS
A good place to start thinking about children in community gardens ( they're community members too!) is the ACGA website:
This "Gardening with Children Link" is pretty good: http://www.communitygarden.org/links/index.html#Children
Many community gardens have membership and keyholder agreements which can be accessed through the ACGA website links page under "Community garden by State or Province or Country" http://www.communitygarden.org/links/index.html A look at these rules should give you a sense of what gardens find important as rules.
The key to child safety in a garden is supervision by responsible adults ( a parent, teacher, caretaker, etc.) It is also important to have the adults know that a garden is not a playground and while beautiful has perils ( plants that shouln't be eaten, a garden shed that is left open, etc.).
  • Acts of child abuse generally happen one-on-one. Everybody's eyes in the garden should be looking out for kids anyway. For more information on creating a pervert free space, you should consult with your local police and board of education for pointers. Again, get legal advice. Take notes, this also shows you are engaged in "due diligence."  Even as a parent and long time volunteer academic and reading tutor,  Iif I'm working with someone else's child, I still try to work in areas that have  other adults and children engaged in similar activities.  This is for my protection as well as the child's in today's litigious society.
Hope this has been helpful,
Adam Honigman
Also, on this page are
 -----Original Message-----
From: Sheilade1111@aol.com [mailto:Sheilade1111@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 23, 2002 12:37 PM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] children in community gardens

Some neighborhood children's programs will begin coming into the garden this summer to garden and to enjoy the greenspace.  Some board members want a written policy addressing the safety of the children in the garden, particularly about child abuse.  Does anyone have any information or experience with writing a safety policy for children in gardens?  thank you in advance.

Sheila deBettencourt
Edgehill Community Garden

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