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NYC Garden Insurance Working Group

  • Subject: [cg] NYC Garden Insurance Working Group
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 8 Oct 2005 12:08:10 EDT


In the midst of a rather warm discussion on garden accessibility issues
carried on the American Community Gardening listserve,  Mr. William
of NYC's  6B Community garden,  shared this piece of intelligence:

Mr. Hohauser stated that after  August 2006, there will be no community
garden insurance for NYC community gardens provided under the aegis of  the
Neighborhood Open Space Coalition.

"The insurance issue, believe me or not, is true. I talked to Toby 
Bran[d]t," [of the Neighorhood Open Space Coalition], "three weeks ago and had
the news
confirmed by Edie Stone. As I  stated, nobody has told the gardens, I had to
call. The reason I  called NOSC was in reaction to the problem at 6BC Garden.
In short, a  woman sitting in the garden had her foot crushed by rocks falling
off  an unstable wheelbarrow. The garden was not being monitored by a  garden
member and the person operating the wheelbarrow was a non- member volunteer.
The 6BC garden is temporarily closed now.
I am now in discussion with NYC Parks about the garden insurance 
issue. I'll update the community garden board this week after my 
meeting with them."

Needless to say,this is extremely disturbing news. I will, of course contact
NOSC and Greenthumb on behalf of the Clinton Community Garden to confirm this.

However, with the strong assumption that Mr. Hohauser's statement is correct,
the city's volunteer run community gardens and other volunteer run public
spaces have some serious issues to resolve. Running our gardens without
coverage would be a greater challenge to our gardens than former Mayor
Guiliani and the entire real estate development community gave us.

There are community garden organizations throughout the US and Canada.

I would be very interested in finding out which insurance companies provide
them with insurance, and would be extremely grateful for any information that
could be provided to gardeners in NYC. Please forward your insurance
information to the ACGA listserv, with a copy to my personal e-mail:

Some suggested topics for discussion:

1) How to find a new carrier or carriers  to provide affordable public space
insurance to our community gardens under the aegis of NOSC, or some other

2) I am not sure what kind of insurance coverage Trust for Public Land, or NY
Restoration managed gardens carry. If these gardens have a non NOSC policy,
we will should discuss reaching out to them.

3) If our gardens are to get coverage under NYC's insurance, discussions
would have to start almost immediately,  with NYC Parks and the  NYC Parks
dept.,  on how, and under what conditions of operations the city's gardens
could be covered by NYC's insurance umbrella.
Undoubtedly, this option will require for there to be a certain amount of
standardization of security and safety practices in our gardens to allow
under a group policy. The gardens need to be at the table when this
standardization is formulated.

4) All of our gardens will need to have some sort of idea of what this new
coverage will cost our gardens, so we can start to raise and set aside cash
what may prove to be a huge budget item for all of our gardens.

I've copied representatives of NOSC, Greenthumb, TPL, NY Restoration, the NY
Council for the Environment,  the American Community Garden Association
listserv, the NOSC based cybergardens listserv to get this information
Please feel free to circulate this information among your NYC gardens and

I work 7 - 5 daily, so while I would most certainly participate in this
process, I could not be the point/contact  person once we get going - any

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman
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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