2012 Annual General Membership Meeting Minutes

Sunday, February 26, 2012
Time: 12 noon – 4 pm
Place: Fifth Avenue Committee office (621 Degraw St [nw corner Degraw and 4th Ave], phone:  718 237 2017; website:  http://www.fifthave.org
12noon – 1:00 pm:  set up (bring yummy snacks, coffee percolator, juices/beverages to share)/social mingling
meeting 1:00 – 3:00 pm


David Bivins
Cathy Carver
Loretta Chan
Ruth Chasek
Kristin Davis
Valerie English
Grace Freedman
Jen Kaiser Gordon
Andrea Kannapell
David Kraus
Pat McCarty
Leslie McCleave
Alice McIntyre
McRae Petrey
Ella Sawtell
Sheri Stein
Chad Testa
Rosana Vidal



2011-2012 reports from steering committee coordinators (alphabetically by position) let’s keep it brief: each report c. 5 minutes

  1. Administrative (BANG/TPL; GreenThumb, Greenbridge (BBG), water service, etc.)
  2. Communications (website, facebook, etc.)
  3. Events (Make Music NY, theater in the garden, Local Produce Festival, movie night, etc.)
  4. Fundraising (plant sale, stoop sale, bake sale, etc.)
  5. Garden (compost, tree pruning, tree planting/removal, children’s plot, community plot, etc.)
  6. Membership (how many new gardeners, how many returning gardeners, etc.)
  7. Plots (raised beds, how many returning gardeners, how many reminders, waiting lists, etc.)
  8. Treasurer (PayPal success/challenge, etc.)

2012-2013 wish list from steering committee coordinators (alphabetically by position) here, let’s allow for membership discussion.

  1. Administrative – more involvement with other greening organizations; more involvement with our garden; more transparency in our operation, etc.
  2. Communication – more communication with nonmembers (necessity of Publicity Coordinator)
  3. Events – more attendance; what kind of events, etc.
  4. Fundraising – more stoop sales involving neighbors; grants (what projects require funding), etc.
  5. Garden – compost bin rehab; flagstone walk repair; replacing felled fruit trees; Farming Concrete; Project LeafDrop; Christmas tree mulchfest; filling raised beds w/compost;   beekeeping; work posses; weeding, etc.
  6. Membership (not merely numbers; how to keep active for this season and future seasons), etc.
  7. Plots – accounting, not to punish, but to reward with bounty and beauty, etc.
  8. Treasurer:  Approval of 2012-2013 budget


Review of Coordinator job descriptions:

Gardening Coordinator

  • Ideally is familiar with gardening and plants
  • Oversees maintenance and physical changes to the garden
  • Takes leadership role on Garden Days and provides knowledge and guidance to other gardeners
  • Takes attendance on Garden Days
  • Oversees plant and tool purchases, plantings, etc
  • Works closely with other Steering Committee members as appropriate
  • Should attend most Garden Days and meetings.
  • Can be a shared or an individual position

Administrative Coordinator

  • Ideally has been a member for at least a full year
  • Liaises with other groups/institutions (city, sanitation, land trust, community, BQLT, contractors, water, etc.). This includes paperwork that is required annually
  • Is familiar with bylaws
  • Should attend most monthly Garden Days and meetings
  • Can be a shared or an individual position


  • Is responsible for bank account
  • Reimburses members for approved garden expenditures in a timely fashion
  • Presents budget annually
  • Communicates with Membership Coordinator about membership dues
  • Should attend most monthly Garden Days and meetings

Plot Coordinator

  • Distributes available plots to members in good standing
  • Monitors plots for overgrowth or neglect and notifies plot holders
  • Maintains current and up-to-date plot information
  • Works closely with Membership Coordinator and Garden Coordinator
  • Should attend most monthly Garden Days and meetings

Membership Coordinator

  • Maintains current and up-to-date list of membership
  • Collects dues and gives money to Treasurer
  • Orients new members at Garden Days
  • Gives out keys
  • Makes available for interested and new members all relevant forms (i.e. new membership forms, bylaws, dog information, etc.)
  • Works closely with Plot Coordinator and Treasurer
  • Should attend most monthly Garden Days and meetings
  • Can be a shared or an individual position

Events Coordinator

  • Oversees community out-reach programs and garden events
  • Oversees flyering for events and Garden Days
  • Works closely with Communications Coordinator and Fundraising Coordinator
  • Should attend most monthly Garden Days and meetings
  • Can be a shared or an individual position

Communications Coordinator

  • Requires knowledge of web and listserve management
  • Updates web site and email listserve
  • Maintains web site and email listserve including paying annual website fee and adding new members
  • Assists Events Coordinator with flyering neighborhood during events
  • Works closely with Membership Coordinator and Garden Coordinator to keep email listserve up-to-date
  • Should attend most monthly Garden Days and meetings
  • Can be a shared or an individual position

Fundraising Coordinator

  • Oversees and develops money-raising ideas and events
  • Oversees annual bake sale, t-shirt sales, raffles, etc.
  • Works closely with Events Coordinator
  • Should attend most monthly Garden Days and meetings
  • Can be a shared or an individual position

Vote:  Approval of position of Publicity Coordinator, define job description
Vote:  Affirmation/Vote of BANG representative and alternative representative
Anything else?

3:00 – 3:45 pm membership renewals:  dues, online signup, keys

3:45 – 4:00 pm cleanup and adjournment

Combo 2011 – 2012 garden reports and 2012 – 2013 garden wish list

  1. Administrative (Pat) – A mini review of TPL/BQLT/BANG history and the WSMC garden’s decision to join the BANG land trust;  circulated draft of the BANG partnership agreement and asked for comment; announced 31st annual Making Brooklyn Bloom (March 10, 10am – 4 pm, Brooklyn Botanical Garden [http://www.bbg.org/visit/event/mbb_2012/]) and 28th annual GreenThumb GrowTogether (March 31, 8:30 – 4:00, Hostos Community College, Grand Concourse, Bronx. $3.00 buys lunch, t-shirt, seminars, and camaraderie of  fellow NYC community gardeners [http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/225186 ]); developing a ‘master calendar’ to announce not only special events and garden workdays in a timely way, but will include Steering Committee meeting dates, with invitation to membership; water will be turned on and RPZ test conducted when danger of winter freeze has passed.
  1. Communication (Valerie) – Moments of website hacking; working toward Spanish translation of announcements; creating a regularly issued (monthly?) digest of garden activity/announcements; because only membership and email subscribers receive notices, necessity to communicate with larger community, those neighbors not garden members, thus a steering committee position of Publicity Coordinator is proposed
  1. Events (Cathy) – Wants more membership attendance; to the good, several events attracted nonmembers; what has become traditional (spring plant sale, Make Music NY; Local Produce Festival, NYC Marathon Sunday bakesale) can be added to ‘master calendar,’ and announced in a more timely way;  movie nights (‘Farmer John,’ ‘Microcosmos?’); WSMC garden a possible CSA (community sustained agriculture) site (Grace Freedman will follow up with Just Food); Bluegrass sessions and Yoga sessions, alternating regularly; regularly scheduled and extemporaneous kid-friendly events (bubble day, creepy crawling things, fragrance day, egg and pumpkin hunts, etc. [Jen, Anna, Anna Marie, other moms & dads?]); Haunted Garden, with fundraising possibilities; pot luck lunch at all garden workdays, during which, membership meeting updates.
  1. Fundraising (McRae) – Needs input to specify in defining grants’ applications (what capital improvements do we want); replacing east boundary chainlink fence (David will confer with Jen and research wood alternative w/estimate, Pat will get estimate from contractor who had installed wrought iron north and south work; discussion about viability/availability of chemical port-a-potty, arranged through GreenThumb with monthly maintenance contracted directly with garden, and composting toilet – Hollenback garden  (Washington Ave, btwn Gates and Greene) has one (Pat will arrange chemical toilet, inconspicuous placement near Warren St small gate, with hope that in future years, the garden will consider the environmentally superior composting alternative)
  1. Garden (Andrea & Sheri) – Want compost bin rehab; alternate compost sifter built from salvaged food coop tumbler parts; flagstone walk rebuild; more involvement in siting any planting of new trees, maybe not replacing lost fruit trees; more discussion regarding replacing chain link fence; planting community and children’s plots, Farming Concrete, Project LeafDrop to be added to ‘master calendar;’ Pat will follow-up about Christmas tree mulchfest (who keeps chips, etc.)
  1. Membership (Jen) – Discussion regarding posted open hours (Pat read revised GreenThumb guidelines = 10 posted hours/20 total hours per week); membership consensus to posted open hours 10:30am – 3:30pm each Saturday & Sunday; several members would favor better accounting, crediting active members and informing not-so-active members, others preferred more relaxed commitment; orientation would include ‘How will you commit toward maintaining this garden?’ with promised hours not specified but suggested,  Andrea & Sheri will oversee accounting and follow-up calls; agreed to old ‘new’ locks, with keys distributed to members as annual dues are paid; locks to be swapped out now, allowing one lock to be accessed with current key.
  1. Plots (Alison) – Anticipating her absence from today’s meeting, Alison sent recommended Plot Coordinator assistance, Ryan Reincke and Emilie Hagen (both absent today); and sent current plot holder list, with three vacancies, and waiting list; discussion of concern that those on waiting list may withhold membership until granted a plot; reviewed recommended changes from three years past: “Plotholders are required to do communal work in the garden through garden days and/or task forces assembled by garden coordinators and/or discrete projects during open hour shifts…”
  1. Treasurer (Ruth) – approval of submitted budget; will review bylaws, and recommend any changes for membership approval based on today’s discussions


Membership consensus regarding creation of position of Publicity Coordinator; Rosana Vidal volunteered to serve in the position and will help, with Communications and Events Coordinators, to craft a brief job description; membership affirmation of the 2012-2013 WSMC Garden Steering Committee:

Administrative Coordinator – Pat McCarty
Communications Coordinator – Valerie English
Events Coordinator – Cathy Carver and Emilie Hagen (subject to Emilie’s agreement to serve in this capacity)
Fundraising Coordinator – McRae Petrey
Garden Coordinator – Andrea Kannapell and Sheri Stein
Membership Coordinator – Jen Keiser Gordon
Plots Coordinator – Alison Novak and Ryan Reincke
Treasurer – Ruth Chasek

BANG representative – Pat McCarty
BANG alternate representatives – Sheri Stein and Andrea Kannapell

Anything Else:
Grace Freedman asked for WSMC Garden involvement in two neighborhood initiatives:  1. MacDonald’s (to replace shuttered KFC), NW corner of 4th Avenue and Warren St; and 2.  4th Ave Task Force (between Bergen and Degraw); Administrative Coordinator will participate.

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