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NYC Community Garden Insurance - Final Note

  • Subject: [cg] NYC Community Garden Insurance - Final Note
  • From: adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 09:40:45 -0400

Good morning, 
Sit down and have a cup of coffee. 
Here's the story.  This is what I gleaned from a telephone conversation last night with Jack Linn, the NYC Parks Commissioner who is Edie Stone's (the current Green Thumb Director)  boss. I like Jack, he's a Park professional,who's been around forever,  and like a true professional takes responsibility for the actions of his subbordinates. And for policy decisions. 
First, to understand: The NYC Community Garden Insurance that we previously carried under NOSC provided $1 -3 Million dollars in coverage. This was to serve as an insurance "buffer," for claims, so the larger insurance coverage pool, the self-insured NYC, would not be touched. The legal dept of the City of New York required all Green Thumb gardens to have this insurance as a component of their leases with the City. In other words, to not have this insurance was to be in technical default of your lease with the City of New York, your landlord. 
If you have a Green Thumb Garden, the supplementary community garden  insurance coverage that was provided through the Neighborhood Open Space Coalition ended over the summer. After searching through what was available on the insurance market, the price per garden fee of about $550 or so  was deemed to be too much for community gardeners to pay by Parks. So NOSC got out of the insurance provider game, insurance checks that had been sent out by gardens were returned, but no word went out to the gardens and gardeners. It was assumed by NOSC that Green Thumb would notify the community gardens of their loss of this supplementary insurance. 
This was not done. 
And the fact that all the community gardens that were covered by this supplementary insurance would be in technical default of their community garden leases with NYC was considered to be a minor detail. 
It was deemed to be too difficult or cumbersome by Parks & Green Thumb to notify all of the city's community gardeners of this fact, via e-mail or post card. This is a decision with which I vigorously disagree. 
When I learned of this in mid-October, I went ballistic. After all, Parks could always call or e-mail any of our gardens when they needed us to testify at the NYC Council, lobby with politicians, write letters to the NY Times, host an annual  city-wide community garden celebration, and do various and sundry lobbying efforts.
 However, when a "minor detail" like insurance came up,and all the gardens would be in technical default of their leases,  and some of us, who are incorporated, have greater insurance exposure than un-incorporated gardens, it was deemed, by the Parks powers that be, that we need not be informed. 
Ignorance is not bliss. And as the winter is coming, it is hoped that our new supplementary insurance will be in place for next spring - perhaps sooner, when discussions with NYC Legal and the Comptroller's dept are completed. 
So the bottom line is that we should  engage in usual gardening activities, avoid performing  crazy or reckless acts that would not be in the ususal run of gardening, and dissuade our visitors from  doing so as well.  and we're  covered, for the interim by the blanket NYC Parks insurance. 
But we won't be getting it in writing from Parks. Or in an e-mail. But that is the story from Parks. And Parks is our landlord. And possession is 9/10s of the law. 
Just be sure to get your sidwalk shovelled at the first sight of snow, make sure there are no obstructions to trip over, and keep your fingers crossed, in your mittens if need be,  until that supplementary insurance is finalized - when its finalized. So we will not be in technical default of our community garden leases.
And perhaps, just perhaps, someday, we'll get organized leadership at Green Thumb that treats us a true partners and acknowledges that we're grown up enough to be informed, in a timely matter, about matters like insurance.
Adam Honigman
-----Original Message-----
From: doggielama <doggielama@nyc.rr.com>
To: cybergardens@treebranch.com
Sent: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 21:48:06 -0400
Subject: Re: [tb-cybergardens]: NYC Community Garden Insurance Clock - 119 Days and Counting....

I thought we had insurance in force for a year, from summer to summer?  You mean we have no insurance now?

adam36055@aol.com wrote:

It has been 119 days since our Green Thumb community gardens lost the supplemental community garden insurance required by our Green Thumb leases....
Adam Honigman

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