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Re: [tb-cybergardens]: garden location fees

  • Subject: [cg] Re: [tb-cybergardens]: garden location fees
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 20:33:26 EDT


The first thing you do, as a garden is decide what your mission is. At the 
Clinton Community Garden, we're a garden for a neighborhood in a parks and open 
green space starved neighborhood. As an open garden, perhaps the most 
accessible community garden in the City of New York, with over 5,000 key holders, open 
gates on the weekend, and a sign on the front door that tells passers by that 
if they want to come into the garden and someone's inside, all they have to 
do is ask - people take pictures. The place is pretty. 

However, the Clinton Commnity Garden is  first and foremost a community 
garden. It's a special use public space, like a public library is. We're a NYC 
Parks garden, so we don't, and can't collect "fees," though we do accept 
contributions which we always acknowledge, and are organized as a 501(c)(3) corporation 
to accept them. Nobody in the garden makes a cent off of it. And that's our 
mission, and how we run it. 

Key to running a public space is managing its programming. For any gathering 
of over 10 people, for artistic programming, even filming, the applications 
have to be made a good six weeks in advance, and have to be approved by the 
steering committee of the garden. Anyone who wants to see how we do this can go to 
the "events application" section of our website:  Clinton Community Garden . 

Our rule of thumb is that the event has to be garden centered, and serves the 
garden community. A local dance company who wants to do a performance on the 
grass, is OK. A film crew for PBS doing a segment on bee keeping and 
vermiculture in the garden is OK,  a documentary crew from Japan doing a piece on a New 
York City community garden is OK,  but a fashion crew looking for a free 
venue, a commercial TV series wanting to bring in heavy cameras and cables to film 
a few minutes for a cop show and trash the joint, or a bunch of NYU student 
looking for cheap color, and rudely ordering gardeners and our usual patrons 
from their "artistic shots" and with  no respect for the joint - we'll pass. 

We raise operating dollars from selling t-shirts at the 9th Avenue food 
festival, write foundation grants, and accept contributions from neighborhood 
residents who love the garden. We don't have to "spread 'em" for commercial film 
crews.  And our neighborhood likes it that way. But community garden governance, 
like all politics is local.  And you should do what you need to do. But we 
won't do anything that excludes our seniors, kids and daily users of the garden 
for a temporary media circus that wants a "little color." 

Hope this has been useful, 
Adam Honigman
Clinton Community Garden

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