Re: community gardens- dealing with liability issues
- Subject: Re: [cg] community gardens- dealing with liability issues
- From: Grow19@aol.com
- Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 10:06:51 EDT
I would suggest sitting down with the museum and saying that you are willing
to explore the idea but need to know more; it would likely be helpful if the
museum would bring their insurance agent to the meeting. this way the
museum and the insurance agent can voice their concerns, could discuss
alternatives, such as:
- the garden contributes toward the museum's coverage (an amount such as
- the museum adds a rider for the garden; gardeners pay for that
- insurance agent assures museum that the garden would not be a problem.
Would also suggest that the museum's insurance agent talk to the Land Trust
Alliance, which forged insurance coverage for land trusts and community
gardens. The agent could talk with the underwriters at Chubb (through the LTA)
and learn a bit more about issues nationally and their experience covering
gardening on 'vacant' land. Perhaps this would help the agent assure the museum
that it will be OK.
That said, the gardeners should work together to develop a "Gardeners'
Agreement" which outlines what is expected of them (keeping their plot planted,
weeded and harvested at all times; keeping walkways clear of weeds; helping with
group projects benefitting the garden; always keeping the garden safe; being
in the garden at their own risk). Each year, gardeners should read the
agreement together and sign this agreement again. Altho' is won't legally
protect from lawsuits, it establishes the idea that tools must be managed safely
and that people are responsible to walk carefully, etc, and to take care of
Keep in mind that if the garden includes people with disabilities and it is
on public space (museum) you should take special care to be sure that the
pathways are wide and firm underfoot so as not to pose an obstruction or danger.
Judy Tiger, Washington, DC
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