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Re: CG insurance question

  • Subject: Re: [cg] CG insurance question
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 08:35:05 EST

Ms. Lynn,

In General: While you will find insurance information on the ACGA website, 
there are state by state variations on the availability of insurance for 
volunteer organizations maintaining public spaces ( i.e., community garden). 
In the United States of America, insurance is usually regulated on a  
state-by-state basis, so vastly different rates and coverage are buried in 
the small type.  Generally, you can inquire about possible open space 
insurance policies underwritten by the 10 largest US insurance companies 
through a multi-company representative like Progressive. 

In Specific:  The Clinton Community Garden is required through the lease 
agreement we have with  our landlord, the Parks Dept of the City of New York, 
to pay for general liablity insurance for our third of an acre site.  It is a 
key section of our lease.

The City of New York gets sued up the wazoo for injuries incurred on public 
property and is rightly concerned about any possible insurance exposure.  NYC 
Community Gardens get their insurance through the Neighhborhood Open Space 
Coalition for about $200 bucks per garden. This seems to be a special deal 
for NY State community gardens, but I will inquire of the NOSC's insurance 
agent if this  carrier insures out-of-state gardens.  

Key to getting our insurance was the list of safety rules in our garden's 
rules,   <A HREF="http://www.clintoncommunitygarden.org/";>Clinton Community 
Garden</A> which may seem rather extensive to some, but are necessary in a 
heavily used volunteer community garden( 4,000 keyholders in a NYC community 
board area that has 90,000 residents - peak weekend summer use between 750 
-1000 visits).

The Clinton Community Garden has posted our ten major safety rules in 
English, Spanish and Arabic throughout our garden and have translated our 
keyholder agreements into all of these languages as well ( English was 
hardest - eveyone thinks they are a lawyer!)  In a city where the third clean 
word that most children learn is "Sue!" we have tried to do all the due 
dilligence that we could do.  

Incidentally, before you start your community garden, I would seriously 
suggest you to a complete soil test.  There are several discussions on how to 
do this in the archives of this listserve at Mallorn.com. 

1) From a basic gardening standpoint, it is very important to have a snapshot 
of what nutrients are in your soil and how you can balance them to optimize 
your yields. 

2) From a liability and safety standpoint, it is very important to know what 
chemicals and heavy metals may be sitting there in the land you intend to 
garden.  Your local agricultural agent can direct you to good regional 
testing labs.  However, sometimes some labs are cheaper and better than 
other.  I like the soil testing lab at University of Massachussets,  Amherst 
for both price and accuracy ( you can find them on the web.)  Depending on 
your relationship with your local agricultural extension and /or government, 
you may be able to get this done both accurately and affordably on a local 

Good luck,

Adam Honigman
Volunteer, Clinton Community Garden

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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