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Re: Words of wisdom...

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Words of wisdom...
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 06:41:29 EDT

Deborah, 

The problem with community gardens "started from the top," instead of "grown 
from the rooots," comes down to the nexus of a volunteer organization having 
the structural problem/habit of looking to "Dad," or "Mom," to provide 
guidance, direction and material support. This isn't fatal, and often is helpful in 
the beginning - the step of transitioning to organizational adulthood and self 
governance is hard. Walking away and trusting the thing to run itself is 
emotionally very hard, but essential. 

There comes a point where you have to slap the baby on the fanny, and it has 
to start to breathe by itself.  

Your membership has to be self-sustaining, take on the responsibilities of 
governing and maintaining the garden.  If the land lease is OK, then the issue 
is to go to the gardeners and say, " You like this place? Well, I gotta go, and 
you have to get it together to run this place fairly and honestly. It was 
nice the old way, but lots of gardens run themselves - it requires effort and 
meetings.  If you want to do this, and keep this garden going, then here are some 
samples of garden rules, and governance of community gardens that run 
themselves.  

You can use by-laws from any number of community gardens, the Clinton 
Community Garden's governance is on line at http://www.clintoncommunitygarden.org/ 
for starters, there are others you can access from the ACGA website, and the 
garden links page.  Throw in a "Robert's Rules of Order," and suggest that they 
look to ways of supporting the project they have taken from, if they find it of 
enough value. 

The crux of the matter is the gardeners have to see themselves as givers to 
their local community instead of "clients," or "recipients."  Otherwise the 
garden structure collapses when Dad or Mom goes away. 

Everbest, 
Adam Honigman
Volunteer, 
Clinton Community Garden


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